Judi Dench: Stop Asking When She Will Retire

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Judi Dench is sick and tired of everyone asking her when she will retire.

Dench has been in the acting industry for 60 years and says she has no current plans for retirement even though she turns 80 this year.

While speaking at the recent screening for her BBC One TV show Esio Trot, Dench opened up about how she loathes all of the constant retirement questions.

''It drives me spare when people say, 'Are you going to retire?' Or, 'Don't you think it's time to put your feet up?' Or tell me my age,'" she said.

''I loathe it; I don't want to be told that I'm too old to do something," she added. "I want to try it first and then, if I don't succeed, then I can be told I can't do it. Otherwise you get to a certain age and it's, 'Oh well you mustn't do that because you could have a fall or you can't learn lines or you can't see.' Let me have a go. Let us all have a go.''

Dench lives by the motto 'you're only as old as you feel' and said she doesn't want people trying to tell her what she can and cannot do simply because of her age. ''Age is just a number imposed on you. The only time I got really upset [about ageing] was when I was 40," she said. "But after that it's the old thing that everybody says, 'You're as old as you feel.'''

Dench said she is constantly waiting on the next on-screen offer, and wants to continue working for as long as she can. "I await the next offers on stage and screen with interest. My eldest brother Peter is always trying to persuade me of the joys of retirement, but that plays no part in any of my future plans," she explained. "Since my husband Michael died in 2001, I have worked constantly. Friends and colleagues are very sustaining: they are the people. who get you through it - it's no good to be on your own."