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Judi Dench explains how she can no longer see scripts to learn lines

Emily Brown

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Judi Dench explains how she can no longer see scripts to learn lines

Featured Image Credit: PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo

James Bond star Judi Dench has said it has become 'impossible' to read scripts after she was diagnosed with a common condition which can affect vision.

The 88-year-old actor discussed her eyesight as she appeared on The Graham Norton Show on 17 February following the release of her latest film, Allelujah.

Dench sat down with Hugh Jackman, Michael B. Jordan, Eugene Levy, Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas on the show, where she described Allelujah as a 'big cheer for the NHS'.

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The film follows a number of elderly patients and staff members in a small Yorkshire hospital being threatened with closure, starring Jennifer Saunders, David Bradley, Bally Gill, Derek Jacobi and other famous faces alongside Dench.

Its release comes years after Dench revealed she had age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a common condition which usually occurs in people in their fifties and sixties.

AMD affects vision, and while the NHS explains it does not cause total blindness, it can make everyday activities like reading and recognising faces more difficult.

For Dench, she explained how the condition has impacted her work as she admitted she can no longer see scripts to learn her lines for new projects.

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She told Norton: "It has become impossible [to read scripts] and because I have a photographic memory, I need to find a machine that not only teaches me my lines but also tells me where they appear on the page.

"I used to find it very easy to learn lines and remember them. I could do the whole of Twelfth Night right now.”

Dench has been open about her worsening eyesight. Credit: WFPA / Alamy Stock Photo
Dench has been open about her worsening eyesight. Credit: WFPA / Alamy Stock Photo

Dench has previously opened up about the impacts AMD has had on her life as she spoke at an event for the Vision Foundation, a sight loss charity based in London.

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The actor explained her realisation that you had to find 'a way of just getting about and getting over the things that you find very difficult', adding: "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 exact cause of AMD is unknown, according to the NHS, though the condition has previously been linked to smoking, high blood pressure, being overweight and having a family history of the condition.

Topics: Celebrity, Health, TV And Film

Emily Brown
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