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Judi Dench: Failing eyesight has left me unable to read

Dame Judi Dench said she remains inspired to continue acting despite her failing eyesight. Credit: Ian West/PA Wire

Dame Judi Dench has revealed a degenerative eyesight condition has left her unable to read.

The Oscar-winning actress, 79, told The Hollywood Reporter she has suffered a gradual loss of vision due to a macular degeneration that also afflicated her mother.

"I never want to make much of it, but it is difficult - very, very difficult," Dame Judi told the US showbiz magazine.

"I can't read anymore. I can't paint like I used to. I try to watch movies, but it's quite difficult.

"But these are all of the negatives. I don't want to really think about all that. What I can do, I do. And I somehow get by."

Dame Judi previously admitted to getting friends and colleagues to read scripts to her, as Steve Coogan did for their recent hit Philomena, for which she has received an Oscar nomination for Best Actress.

She said, though, that the practice was also an indulgence.

"I suppose it's the child in me," she said. "I think somebody coming around and telling you a story is irresistible."

Read: Judi Dench 'proud' of best actress nomination

Richard Gere to star in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 2

Richard Gere at the Premiere of Arbitrage premiere last February Credit: David Jensen/EMPICS Entertainment

Richard Gere has joined the cast for the follow-up to the hit film The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

He and Episodes actress Tamsin Greig join returning stars including Dame Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy and Celia Imrie.

Filming for The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 2 is already underway in India.

The original film, released in 2012, was a surprise hit earning more than £82 million at the box office worldwide.

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Dame Judi Dench and Steve Coogan shortlisted

Tonight's Bifa ceremony could be a triumph for Philomena with its stars, Dame Judi Dench and Steve Coogan, both in the running to pick up gongs.

The pair are shortlisted for the Best Actress and Best Actor awards.

Dame Judi Dench and Steve Coogan arriving at the Philomena Premiere. Credit: Doug Peters/Doug Peters/EMPICS Entertainment

The film, which tells the true story of Philomena Lee's search for the son she was forced to give up for adoption in 1950s Ireland, is also in the running for Best Film.

Odds of 66/1 on Bond to win elusive Best Film Oscar

Before the nominations are even announced William Hill has put odds of 66/1 on the latest Bond film to win the Best Picture Award for the first time in its 50 year history.

Spokesman Rupert Adams said, “Bond is the longest running movie franchise in history and Skyfall the most successful in that 23 film series, you have to think it has a chance of delivering the big one."

Could they be in for Bond's first Best Film Oscar? Daniel Craig and Judi Dench
Could they be in for Bond's first Best Film Oscar? Daniel Craig and Judi Dench Credit: Ian West/PA Wire

But despite optimism about Skyfall's chances it is still trailing Stephen Spielberg's Lincoln - 10/11, Les Miserables - 9/4 , and Life of Pi - 20/1. The British spy lags with odds of 66/1.

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