Dame Judi Dench is determined to keep acting, despite her "intensely irritating" deteriorating eyesight.

Dame Judi Dench

Dame Judi Dench

The 86-year-old actress suffers from age-related macular degeneration,  which affects the middle part of a person's vision, and she now has to enlist her friends to help her learn her lines for new projects by repeating them back to her, so she doesn't have to keep reading from a script.

She said: "You find a way of just getting about and getting over the things that you find very difficult.

"I’ve 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.

"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!"

The 'Cats' actress admitted she could walk past someone she knew and not recognise them, because she has to be "very close" to a person before she can identify them.

Speaking at an online event for London sight loss charity Vision Foundation, she added: "Finty, my daughter, goes and has her eyes checked.

"It is intensely irritating. But it does enable you to do one thing and that is that you have to get very close to people before you can recognise who they are.

"During lockdown I made a film and I was up close addressing people wearing masks during rehearsals, nothing to do with any scene I’m in.

"It’s kind of exquisite if you can do that and that’s the good side of it, and you have to look at that side of it."


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