Judi Dench on 'heavenly Anthony Joshua' and never missing 'University Challenge'

·Contributor
Anthony Joshua and Dame Judi Dench during the filming of the Graham Norton Show at BBC Studioworks 6 Television Centre, Wood Lane, London. (Photo by Isabel Infantes/PA Images via Getty Images)
Anthony Joshua and Dame Judi Dench during the filming of the Graham Norton Show at BBC Studioworks 6 Television Centre, Wood Lane, London. (Photo by Isabel Infantes/PA Images via Getty Images)

There are few actresses as beloved by the British public as Judi Dench. Now 84, the Dame has played queens (repeatedly), spy masters par excellence and even cameoed in Pirates of the Caribbean much to the nation’s delight.

But who does the Dame herself like? Well her partner, David Mills, a conservationist who she met at a squirrel sanctuary features on the list, but so, surprisingly, does Anthony Joshua.

She revealed her adoration for the boxer in an interview in The Telegraph this weekend. “I mean he’s heavenly. Heavenly!”

The Oscar-winning actress met the world heavyweight champion on the Graham Norton sofa. The pair bonded over fighting and Joshua’s love of apple crumble and brownies. On the show, Dench talked about her fight scene with Cate Blanchett in Notes on a Scandal, adding with glee, “she smashed me against really hard against a bookcase and then we drank a whole bottle of champagne.”

In the interview in The Telegraph, Dench also opened up about losing her sight. The actress suffers from macular degeneration, which she was diagnosed with in 2012. “I can only really see who someone is when I’m six inches away now. I have to get very close to people – and I mean extremely close. Which is handy with the fellas. You have to find a silver lining, don’t you?”

Read more: Judi Dench Losing Her Eyesight And Can’t Travel Alone

She also revealed her tip for the next Bond. Her Cats co-star, Idris Elba. “Oh I think he would be a brilliant Bond,” says Dench. The pair have recently wrapped on a new version of the stage musical, in which Elba plays Macavity.

But perhaps the biggest surprise was Dench’s disinterest in TV. As it turns out, Dench doesn’t have much time for it, with one massive exception. University Challenge, which she adores. If she misses that well, she’s “put in a terrible bait for the rest of the week.”

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