Tuesday 16 January 2018

Dame Judi Dench is ‘full of admiration’ for Queen Victoria

The actress will play Queen Victoria on the big screen for the second time, 20 years after she first portrayed her.

Dame Judi Dench on the Graham Norton Show (Isabel Infantes/PA)
Dame Judi Dench on the Graham Norton Show (Isabel Infantes/PA)

By Kerri-Ann Roper, Press Association Entertainment Editor

Dame Judi Dench has said she is “full of admiration” for Queen Victoria and her “interest” in men in her later years, adding: “She was a goer!”

The actress will next be seen playing the late monarch on the big screen in her latest film Victoria And Abdul, 20 years after she portrayed her in John Madden’s film Mrs Brown.

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Directed by Stephen Frears, Victoria and Abdul documents the close friendship that developed between Queen Victoria and Abdul Karim, a member of the Royal household.

Talking about accepting the role, she told the Graham Norton show: “Diaries and letters have recently come to light.

“Abdul came to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee to present her with a coin. But, having seen him she wasn’t so interested in the coin!”

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Asked about Queen Victoria’s reported romantic interests in her later years following the death of Prince Albert, Dame Judi said: “She was a goer and I am full of admiration!”

The 82-year-old star said of portraying Queen Victoria again: “You never think you’re going to go back to revisit a character you played so long ago, but because I didn’t know about the story, because it was so beautifully written and directed, and because it was a part I had done all the homework on, it was irresistible, I couldn’t have said no.”

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Hollywood actors Jamie Foxx, Steve Carell and Kristen Wiig are also guests on the BBC One talk show tonight.

American rock band Haim perform their new single Want You Back ahead of taking to the stage at Glastonbury music festival on Sunday.

:: The Graham Norton Show airs on BBC One at 22:35pm

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