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Judi Dench admits her deteriorating eyesight has made it ‘impossible’ to read scripts

Chelsea Flower Show Press Day
Dame Judi Dench

Dame Judi Dench has admitted it has “become impossible” to read scripts due to her deteriorating eyesight.

The veteran actress, who suffers from age-related macular degeneration, revealed on The Graham Norton Show that she used to have no trouble learning her lines because she has a photographic memory. However, she now relies upon friends to teach her the lines and she wishes one day to have a machine can help her remember where they appear on a page.

“It has become impossible and because I have a photographic memory, I need to find a machine that not only teaches me my lines but also tells me where they appear on the page,” she shared. “I used to find it very easy to learn lines and remember them. I could do the whole of Twelfth Night right now.”

The 88-year-old Oscar-winning actress appeared on Friday’s show to promote her new movie Allelujah, which follows the lives of employees and patients in a geriatric ward in a small hospital that is under threat of closure.

Explaining why she took on the project, Dench said, “It is a big cheer for the NHS (Britain’s National Health Service). We have to be reminded of that, I think. It has come out at a very good time. The cast is wonderful, and it was heaven to do.”

Allelujah is released in the U.K. on 17 March.

– Cover Media