Judi Dench once accidentally shouted “wanker” at a total stranger

She was hoping for Alistair McGowan

Dame Judi Dench has recalled an incident in which she shouted “wanker” at a total stranger.

The actor reflected on her life and career in conversation with broadcaster Gyles Brandreth, at an event at London’s Gielgud Theatre on Sunday (November 27), according to the Independent.

Dench said she thought it would be “funny” to shout at a person she believed to be her friend Alistair McGowan while driving down a road, without realising it wasn’t him.

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“I was driving along and saw who I thought was Alistair McGowan and I shouted ‘wanker’… and it was a total stranger,” the actor said.

Judi Dench explained she suffers from macular degeneration, an eye condition that affects her sight, which has got her into several situations like the above.

Judi Dench Cats
Dame Judi Dench in ‘Cats’ (CREDIT: Universal)

She went on to reveal she once thought she saw theatre director Howard Davies in an audience while she was on stage, before realising it was also a stranger.

“So I got a piece of paper and folded it up and wrote on it, ‘I suppose a shag is out of the question?’” Dench recalled. “I dropped the note and looked up and played the scene and I glanced back… and it was also a complete stranger.”

While reflecting on her loved ones in another recent interview, Judi Dench said she has planted “memorial trees” in her private forest, to honour her friends including Alan Rickman and Helen McCrory.

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Speaking about why she started planting trees in remembrance, Dench said: “Well, I love them. I love trees and I just thought what a nice thing that would be to do.”

The actor also has a tree dedicated to her late husband, Michael Williams, who died in 2001 from lung cancer, which is marked “Mike”.

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