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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."


Spy chief: Working at MI6 'not like James Bond'

Daniel Craig as James Bond in Skyfall. Credit: United Artists Corporation handout

Working at MI6 is not like James Bond, one of the security chiefs told MPs that operatives are given far more supervision.

"The idea of sending an agent off into the field like James Bond, then he comes back two months later and reports... that doesn't work that way," Sir John Sawers, chief of MI6, said. "Our people in the field will have constant communication with us."


Bomber pilot and Bond stunt double dies aged 97

Bomber pilot and James Bond stunt double Ken Wallis, 97, has died after a "great life," his daughter said.

Retired wing commander Ken Wallis, 97, who lived near Dereham, Norfolk, was a former Wellington bomber pilot. Credit: PA

He was awarded a medal in July for his role in 103 Squadron's missions in the Second World War after years of campaigning.

In later life the great-grandfather spent 20 years working in armament and weapon research, flew nuclear-armed B36s for the US and was credited with a key discovery which made autogyro aircraft more reliable.

Between 1968 and 2002, Wing Cdr Wallis set 34 world records, many of which still stand, including the 3km speed record for autogyros, set at 207.7kph.

It was this passion which led to him featuring in the 1967 Bond film You Only Live Twice when he was asked to pilot an autogyro and double for Sean Connery in scenes shot in Japan.

Director Sam Mendes 'in discussions' over new 007 film

Filmmaker Sam Mendes is rumoured to be in discussions over directing another James Bond film despite saying he would not return to the franchise after his success with Skyfall.

Director Sam Mendes (R) with Daniel Craig at a photocall for Skyfall, in London Credit: Doug Peters/Doug Peters/EMPICS Entertainment

The Oscar-winner originally turned down the chance to make the next instalment saying he wanted his "complete focus" to be on his theatre work, including productions of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and King Lear in London.

But a plan that would see work on the next Bond film delayed, to allow Mendes to see the theatre productions through, is now being discussed according to sources close to the star.

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