Judi Dench, 87, admits ‘frightful fall’ left her ‘lying on the ground’ in health update

Judi Dench says she has 'admiration' for the royal family

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Dame Judi Dench has spent the past 65 years lighting up the stage – and she’s made it clear that she has no intention of losing her distinctive sparkle. The actress, who says the word “retirement” is forbidden in her home, also refused to let her fall suppress her spirit – even if it sent her tumbling to the ground.

I was lying on the ground unable to get up for half an hour

Dame Judi Dench

Judi had enjoyed performing energetic dance routines with the encouragement of her TikTok whiz grandson when he moved into her Surrey mansion during the lockdown.

However when she took a terrifying fall recently, she didn’t have him there to help her back up, as she was in the house alone.

“I tripped over the carpet and there was nobody in the house, and I was lying on the ground unable to get up for half an hour,” she recalled to Saga Magazine of her “frightful” experience.

Unfortunately, her pet parrot also wasn’t much help in a crisis.

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“[She] kept saying: ‘What are you doing? What are you doing?'” Judi revealed.

“This is when you need a very convenient parrot who would phone somebody but she didn’t.

“After half an hour I just got up.”

Judi, who admits she has no panic buttons installed in the house in spite of her advancing age, reflected: “You want to be independent and it’s very, very difficult.”

Addressing her thoughts on ageing, she declared: “I don’t recommend it!”

Determined to live every day as if it were her last, she has defiantly had the words ‘carpe diem’ tattooed across her wrist.

The actress made the bold move as part of a celebration for her 81st birthday six years earlier.

“It didn’t hurt,” she insisted.

“Well, it depends on what your level of pain is – but it didn’t hurt me!”

Meanwhile, Judi also refuses to be viewed as a national treasure, contemptuously declaring of the tag: “It’s stuffy! It sounds like you’re in a museum with the fossils.”

She has proven that older age doesn’t necessarily have to mean slowing down by winning her first Oscar at the age of 63.

The accolade followed a show-stopping performance in which she channelled Queen Elizabeth in Shakespeare in Love.

Plus, Judi seems to have a trait in common with Her Majesty The Queen in real life – a tenacious desire to keep calm and carry on.

This was never more apparent than when she returned to the world of film after lockdown ended.

The cause was Belfast – a Sir Kenneth Brannagh film about the trials and tribulations of growing up in Northern Ireland during the dark days of The Troubles.

Judi, who plays the grandmother of 11-year-old Buddy, was delighted to be back on a film set finally, recalling: “It was a real release!… How wonderful seeing people again.”

Read the full interview in Saga Magazine, available this weekend to buy.

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