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Diary: Judi Dench fishing for attention?

Judi Dench and Kenneth Branagh in The Winter’s Tale at the Garrick Theatre, London. Photo: Johan Persson Judi Dench and Kenneth Branagh in The Winter’s Tale... "Fish of the day?". Photo: Johan Persson
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You know the feeling. Your birthday comes and you hit another major milestone – another sign of how far you’ve come since birth and how you’re that little bit closer to, er, the other thing – and you start to get a bit restless, like you need to achieve something, make a mark.

This must have been the dilemma facing Judi Dench when she recently turned 81, and blimey, it’s worse for her… What’s left to achieve?

So you can maybe understand why she decided to make a more literal mark – a tattoo, as a matter of fact, on her right wrist.

‘Carpe diem’, it says (or ‘seize the day’ for us plebs), and Dench was delighted to tell Surrey Life magazine – cough – the deep meaning behind the words.

“That’s my motto: seize the day,” she told their reporter, who Tabard hears will be receiving notification of her Pulitzer nomination any day now.

But it seems the cast of The Winter’s Tale were not in the permanent state of admiration you expect of anyone close to Dench, and were apparently quick to tell her what they really thought of her new ink.

“Mind you,” she told the magazine, “the company of The Winter’s Tale, which I was doing at the time, used to say that it said fish of the day.”

Ouch. Tabard wouldn’t be surprised if her fellow actors were forced to exit, pursued by a glare.

Send stories to tabard@thestage.co.uk

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