Dame Judi Dench says she 'enjoys swimming naked'

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Dame Judi Dench, 86, is a national treasure with a glittering acting career spanning more than 60 years. Her stage and screen roles have been critically acclaimed, and she bagged an Oscar for her role as Queen Elizabeth I in ‘Shakespeare in Love’. The English actress has also been nominated for Academy Awards a further six times, including for the films, ‘Chocolat’ and ‘Philomena’.

Dame Judi has shone in several Shakespearean roles although is perhaps best known for playing ‘M’ in the James Bond films.

She landed the role in the Nineties, appearing alongside Pierce Brosnan’s Bond, before she also starred opposite Daniel Craig during his tenure as 007.

Her latest role is as a grandmother in Kenneth Branagh’s new film, ‘Belfast’ a tribute to his home city.

She is set to attend the BFI London Film festival this evening, where the film will be screened.

The actress is also appearing on British TV screens tonight, not as a queen or the head of MI6, but as herself.

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She appears in the BBC Four documentary, ‘Nothing like a Dame’, alongside Maggie Smith, Joan Plowright and Eileen Atkins.

The cameras roll as the four dames discuss their lives and love of theatre at Joan’s country house.

Packed with witty anecdotes and stories, the charming documentary is interspersed with clips of some of the women’s best performances.

Dame Judi draws laughs as she recalls one encounter she had with a patronising paramedic who seemed to be unaware of who she was.

While witty and direct, the actress usually steers clear of more controversial topics like politics during her media appearances.

However, she broke with that convention in a throwback interview on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme in 2017 as she opened up about Brexit.

Speaking the year after Britain voted to leave the EU, she said there was “so much threat” around.

Asked what she meant, she said: “I shouldn’t even open this bag of worms. But the whole business of leaving Europe.

“There’s something about being inclusive that is more important than being exclusive.”

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She went on to talk about an evening of performance she participated in as Britain entered the Common Market in 1973.

The UK joined the six-member European Economic Community alongside Ireland and Denmark.

Dame Judi said: “I remember doing the evening when we joined the Common Market with Sir Lawrence Olivier and Max Adrian.

“There was opera from Italy and there was ballet, there was everybody.

“Everybody was represented in Europe that evening.

“There was something so glorious about it.”

‘Nothing like a Dame’ airs on BBC Four tonight from 10:45pm-12:05am.
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