Dame Helen Mirren chased away an angry bear.

The 'Queen' star saw the North American black bear wander into the garden of her Lake Tahoe home and she quickly managed to send it away.

Of the encounter with the animal - which can grow to 6ft tall and weigh 30 stone - she told Marc Maron's WTF podcast: ''I saw a bear the other day! A great big black bear came by and stole all my bird food. I went out and I said, 'Bad bear! Bad, naughty bear! Very naughty bear!' He sort of looked at me and lumbered off. He was a big black bear. Funnily enough, I was just reading a book - a little pamphlet - about wildlife up here. They were saying what to do if you encounter a bear - if it's looking aggressively at you and hunching its back and looking like it's about to charge, they said you make yourself look as big as possible, if you can grab a stick, make yourself look big. And then it literally said, 'And then shout: Bad bear! Bad bear!'''

And Helen was lucky she wasn't in the garden at the time as she previously revealed she thinks gardening should be taught in schools.

The actress shared: ''I love to spend time in my garden. If I have a few free hours I love to dig around in the dirt. It's so calming, worthwhile and a really good way of keeping those dark dragons away which I do have at times. Gardens and green spaces are vital for people and the planet. Not enough young people garden or even know how to. They should teach it in schools. It's such a positive thing to do and very useful. Gardening is learning, learning, learning. That's part of the fun of it. You are always learning.''