Dame Judi Dench: I’ve had the Covid-19 jab and it is ‘a great start’

Sherna Noah, PA Senior Entertainment Correspondent
·2-min read

Dame Judi Dench says she has had her first Covid-19 jab, calling it a “great start”.

The Oscar winner, 86, had the vaccination recently, following in the footsteps of fellow stars like Sir David Attenborough and Sir Tom Jones.

She told BBC News: “I had one a week ago.

“I think my next is in something like 11 weeks time. That’s a great start.”

Prue Leith has had the vaccination
Prue Leith has had the vaccination (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Dame Judi also spoke about the prospect of theatres reopening one day.

“Theatres ought to have people in them,” the veteran stage and screen actress said.

“Anyone who’s ever gone in to an empty theatre knows it’s a very, very curious feeling, the fact that they’re standing empty.”

Watch: Queen and Philip receive their Covid-19 vaccinations

And she added: “During the lockdown suddenly one realises you just need social contact with people.

“Just the thing of sitting next to somebody in a theatre, or in a cinema, or at supper even, or at lunch, those are things you suddenly realise that you take for granted.”

She added: “It’s appalling and it’s terrible for all that community of people in theatres, not just the actors, but all the crews, the stage doormen, and everybody who looks after the theatre, the cleaners. They’re not doing anything.”

Sir David Attenborough has also received the vaccine
Sir David Attenborough has also received the vaccine (David Parry/PA)

Dame Judi also said she was grateful to have been able to work, making Sir Kenneth Branagh’s film Belfast, while the cast and crew took “every precaution”.

It was a “huge relief to do something, otherwise you wake up and you think, what is the thing I’ll do today?

“It’s very difficult if you’ve not got a work discipline to get yourself started in the morning really. It’s terribly easy to just sit and do nothing.”

Other stars to have had the jab include actor Sir Ian McKellen, Great British Bake Off judge Prue Leith, entertainer Lionel Blair and actor Brian Blessed, who are all in their eighties.

Dame Joan Collins, 87, received the “painless and seamless” vaccination on Saturday, saying it was on the “same day as our Queen!”

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh received their first dose of the jab over the weekend.

The Prince of Wales has said he will “absolutely” get the vaccine when it is offered to him, but warned of future pandemics unless global warming and habitat loss get under control.

Watch: What is being suggested to help curb the spread of coronavirus?