Vogue cover model, Judi Dench

Tea Time Tidbit for the week of May 11, 2020

Dame Judi Dench was back in the headlines recently. In fact, it was more than headlines, it was an entire front cover!

Tea Time Tidbit

Judi Dench

At 85 years of age, Dench made history as the oldest person ever to appear on the cover of British Vogue; a magazine that’s been around even longer than Dench, having been launched in 1916. As her daughter Finty Williams told Vogue readers, being featured in the magazine gave her mother “just that little boost of confidence to make her go, ‘Oh, maybe I’m still OK.’ Then, of course, after the photo shoot she came back literally thinking she was Beyoncé.”

The said photo shoot took place right before the coronavirus pandemic sent the U.K. into lockdown. Since then, just like millions of other over 70s, who Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered were to stay home for their wellbeing, Dench has been self-isolating at her home in Surrey. In typical Dench fashion though, she seems to be keeping busy.

As well as helping raise money for care workers and National Health Service staff, by donning a Choose Our Carers t-shirt, she also made a “how to wash your hands properly” video with her good friend Gyles Brandreth. Dame Judi also says she’s been trying to “learn something new every day – anything.” This includes all of Shakespeare’s sonnets, which she studies by making the font on her device mega-sized, owing to her macular degeneration.

Despite her self-confessed lack of technology skills, Dench has reportedly also been learning how to FaceTime and, according to her grandson Sam Williams, now knows how to call him and his mother, Finty. “She’s really trying and persevering,” he said of his grandmother, “and she absolutely loves when she gets through to us on the other side because it does feel like we’ve all met up.”

Dench has also been aiding and abetting her 22-year-old grandson in the making of very short video clips he publishes on social media. “Normally we would do the crossword, or Sudoku, or watch a load of game shows,” said Sam, “but we can’t do that at the moment. So I guess TikTok is the next best thing, right?”

Just like most things Dench turns her hand to, her appearances in Sam’s videos have proved to be a big hit. In one she does a dance in her garden to a rap song, and in another her grandson feeds her jokes, only to have his grandmother beat him to the punch line.

To see Dame Judi performing “alongside” her grandson via FaceTime, check out this YouTube clip:

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