Ask someone else, says Dame Judi

She's banned interviews.
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DAME Judi Dench decided to "batten down the hatches" and give no more interviews last week. However, the news came after the queen of British acting gave what some might consider the ultimate interview: in the form of an authorised biography to be published this year.

In what she said would be her last interview, Dame Judi told Radio Times she was fed up with having to talk about her personal life. "I won't do it again," she said. "It was much better in the old days when the public didn't know so much about actors. There was a wonderful mystery about them.

"We're too accessible now, judged on how we react to everything. Our job is to tell a story. It has nothing to with discussing our own ideas or saying, 'I'm feeling as sick as a parrot.' If you give too much of yourself away there's nothing left. You become an empty person, burnt- out inside."

Nevertheless, she went on in the same interview to disclose that she and her actor husband, Michael Williams, knew nothing of their daughter's pregnancy until two weeks before she gave birth last summer. And John Miller's 350-page biography, written with her full co-operation, will not in any case leave much more to tell.

Judi Dench. With a Crack in Her Voice - a reference to her trade-mark huskiness - is to be released in October. It will chronicle her life from her upbringing in York through to an epilogue that details her experiences at this year's Oscars in Los Angeles. The 63-year-old star missed out on the best actress Oscar, for which she was nominated for her performance as Queen Victoria in the film Mrs Brown.

She is currently filming Trevor Nunn's pounds 15m film Shakespeare in Love, in which she plays Queen Elizabeth I alongside Ralph Fiennes's brother Joseph.