Advertisement

Dame Judi Dench reveals she can no longer see to read scripts to learn her lines

The screen legend said she used to find it very easy to learn lines and remember them

Dame Judi Dench has opened up about her worsening eyesight. (PA)
Dame Judi Dench has opened up about her worsening eyesight. (PA)

Dame Judi Dench has revealed it is becoming “impossible” for her to read scripts to learn her lines because of her deteriorating eyesight.

The 88-year-old screen legend previously shared that she has age-related macular degeneration and has said in the past that it is “intensely irritating”.

Opening up on The Graham Norton Show, she explained that she can no longer see to read scripts, saying: “It has become impossible and because I have a photographic memory, I need to find a machine that not only teaches me my lines but also tells me where they appear on the page.”

Read more: Dame Judi Dench has no plans to retire despite condition impacting eyesight – what is macular disease?

“I used to find it very easy to learn lines and remember them,” added the star, who was on the show talking about her new film Allelujah.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 09: Dame Judi Dench attends the European Premiere of
Judi Dench talked about difficulties reading her scripts. (WireImage)

“I could do the whole of Twelfth Night right now.”

Dench previously said that repetition was one of the things that she relied on to learn her lines as her vision worsened.

Speaking at an online event for sight loss charity the Vision Foundation in 2021, she said: “I have had to find another way of learning lines and things, which is having great friends of mine repeat them to me over and over and over again, and that's the way I can learn.

Judi Dench previously said repetition was useful. (BBC)
Judi Dench previously said repetition was useful. (BBC)

"So I have to learn through repetition, and I just hope that people won’t notice too much if all the lines are completely hopeless!”

Read more: Judi Dench makes history as oldest person on Vogue cover

The Graham Norton Show is on BBC One on Friday 17 February at 10.40pm. It is also available on BBC iPlayer.

Watch: Dame Judi Dench ‘seriously considered playing Queen Mother in series five of The Crown