A national treasure here, but Judi Dench is judged too old for American chat shows

In Britain she is treated with the reverence accorded a national treasure. In America, it seems, Judi Dench is simply too old. The first lady of British film and theatre was snubbed by three of the leading network talk shows because she is regarded as over the hill, the film producer, Harvey Weinstein, said.

Dame Judi, 71, is doing the sofa circuit of American studios to promote her new film, Mrs Henderson Presents. But although her performance as the well-heeled purveyor of wartime titillation may have earned her an Oscar nomination as best actress, she is "out of step" with the prime-time TV demographic.

Mr Weinstein told New York magazine that Dame Judi was turned down for interviews by NBC's Today show and ABC's Good Morning America and The View. "They said she didn't fit their demographics. I told that to my mother, who was pretty offended," the Miramax chief executive said. "What do they think, 25-year-old people can't watch 70-year-old people? The insanity of youth. It also assumes none of us like our families."

Miramax Films is distributing Mrs Henderson, set in the Windmill theatre in London's Soho in the 1930s and 1940s. But while this may have won her approval at the highest level of the US entertainment business, the television talk shows - which can make or break a release - found themselves forced to deliver a flurry of embarrassing defensive statements after Mr Weinstein's remarks.

Bill Geddie, the executive producer of The View said Dame Judi had appeared several times on the show, including one to publicise her 1998 performance in Shakespeare in Love. But he added: "I was never pitched Dame Judi Dench to appear on The View in support of Mrs Henderson Presents, and we would welcome her back to the show any time we have an opening."

Bridgette Maney, a spokes-woman for Good Morning America, also released a statement. "Good Morning America welcomes a wide array of guests to the programme each and every day. Judi Dench is a screen legend who has been a guest on GMA in the past. Unfortunately, this time around, the show was unable to accommodate an appearance. We would warmly welcome her back again."

Lauren Kapp, a spokeswoman for the Today show, said: "We've been honoured to have Dame Judi Dench as a guest countless times over the years. In this case we weren't able to offer coverage of her new movie. We look forward to seeing her again on Today soon."

Dame Judi is in the race to win this year's Oscar for leading actress. But she is facing a challenge from Keira Knightley, half a century her junior, for her role as the feisty Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice.

Since Mr Weinstein, a staunch Democrat, co-founded Miramax Films, he has been behind some of the most celebrated and innovative films of recent years. He has been the executive producer of Michael Moore's Farenheit 9/11, Kill Bill and The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - Urgent Requirement - Central Manchester

£20000 - £23000 per annum + 20 days holidays & pension: Ashdown Group: Marketi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Guru Careers: Social Media Executive / SEO Executive

£20 - 25K + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Social Media...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions