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Theatrical dames including Judi Dench and Maggie Smith to be subject of BBC documentary

Maggie Smith, Joan Plowright, Eileen Atkins and Judi Dench as they appear in Nothing Like a Dame. Photo: BBC
Maggie Smith, Joan Plowright, Eileen Atkins and Judi Dench as they appear in Nothing Like a Dame. Photo: BBC
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Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Joan Plowright and Eileen Atkins are to be the subject of a new documentary film on the BBC.

Directed by Roger Michell, the film will follow the four performers – who have all been made dames in recognition of their contribution to acting – as they spend a weekend together in a retreat Plowright once shared with Laurence Olivier.

Titled Nothing Like a Dame, the 90-minute documentary sees the four actors share insights and revelations from careers spanning more than six decades.

Nothing Like a Dame was commissioned for BBC2 by the channel’s controller Patrick Holland and Mark Bell, head of commissioning for BBC Arts.

It is produced by Sally Angel and Karen Steyn for Field Day and BBC Arena.

The film is one of a number of new commissions announced by BBC Arts that also includes a documentary about playwright Joe Orton.

Telling the story of Orton’s life and career, charting his rise to fame until his murder in 1967, the programme – Joe Orton Laid Bare – features interviews with Kenneth Cranham, Michael Codron, Christopher Hampton, Patricia Routledge and Orton’s sister Leonie.

It will be broadcast on BBC2, and has also been commissioned by Holland and Bell.

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