The King’s Speech picked up four Oscars with its star Colin Firth admitting he felt his career had ‘just peaked’ as he collected the award for Best Actor.

Colin told the audience at the 83rd Academy Awards at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles he wanted to leave the stage before he embarrassed himself by dancing with joy.

He said: “I have a feeling my career has just peaked. My deepest thanks to the academy.

“I’m afraid I have to warn you that I’m experiencing stirrings somewhere in the upper abdominals which are threatening to form themselves into dance moves which joyous as they may be for me, it would be extremely problematic if they make it to my legs before I get off stage.”

The story of King George VI’s battle with his stutter also won Best Picture, Best Director for Tom Hooper and Best Original Screenplay for David Seidler.

Hooper paid tribute to the film’s leading actors and “the triangle of man love that is Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and me. I’m only here because of you guys”.

The team behind the film was presented with the Best Picture award by Steven Spielberg and producer Iain Canning thanked the “best of British crew” and the film’s “acting royalty”.

But there was disappointment for two of its stars, Helena Bonham Carter and Geoffrey Rush who lost out on the Best Supporting Actress and Best Supporting Actor roles respectively.

Veteran actor Kirk Douglas presented The Fighter’s Melissa Leo with the Best Supporting Actress Oscar and Welsh-born Christian Bale picked up Best Supporting Actor for the same film.

Last year’s Best Actor winner Jeff Bridges presented the award for Best Actress to Natalie Portman for her role in the dark thriller Black Swan.