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UK TV - 'The Many Faces of Dame Judi Dench' on BBC2 tonight

30-Dec-2011 • Media Alert

Show: "The Many Faces of Dame Judi Dench" (Documentary)
Channel: BBC2 (UK)
Date: Friday 30th December 2011
Time: 20:00

Documentary charting the actress's rise to fame, using clips of her work and interviews with friends and colleagues. The programme reveals how she impressed in early TV performances in Z Cars and Talking to a Stranger, and later won leading roles in classic shows including A Fine Romance. After establishing herself as M in the James Bond franchise, her international stardom was cemented by her Oscar-winning part in Shakespeare in Love. With contributions by Michael Parkinson, Simon Callow and Geoffrey Palmer, her co-star in As Time Goes By.

“She just likes working so if someone offers her a job, she takes it. She’s crazy,” says Geoffrey Palmer affectionately in an attempt to explain why Dame Judi Dench has had so many disparate roles during her lengthy career. Having started out as a Shakespearean actor, she cornered the market in gritty TV drama before becoming the queen of middle-class British sitcoms.

Then Hollywood caught up and cast her as M in the Bond films, since when she’s played Queen Victoria, Elizabeth I and Iris Murdoch, among others. Her peers, including Simon Callow and Samantha Bond all talk fondly, telling stories of her mischievous side, illustrated by the occasional outtake that’ll bring a smile. “You always wanted to be in Judi’s gang because they had the most fun,” says As Time Goes By’s Philip Bretherton. And you can absolutely see why.

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