Museum of the Year: Tate Modern to race horse museum for £100,000 prize

Museum of the Year: Tate Modern to race horse museum for £100,000 prize

Hepworth Wakefield (top left), Sir John Soane's Museum (centre), National Heritage Centre for Horseracing (top right), Tate Modern (bottom right) and Lapworth Museum of Geology (bottom left)Image copyright
Marc Atkins

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Hepworth Wakefield (top left), Sir John Soane’s Museum (centre), National Heritage Centre for Horse-racing (top right), Tate Modern (bottom right) and Lapworth Museum (bottom left)

Britain’s most popular contemporary art gallery and a new horseracing heritage centre are in the running to be named the UK’s Museum of the Year.

Tate Modern in London and The National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art in Newmarket, Suffolk, are both nominated for the £100,000 award.

They are joined in the contest by the Hepworth Wakefield gallery and the Lapworth Museum of Geology, Birmingham.

Sir John Soane’s Museum in London completes the five-strong shortlist.

The Lapworth Museum of Geology

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Marc Atkins

This museum, operated by the University of Birmingham, re-opened last June after a £2.7m redevelopment that was designed restore it to its 1920s grandeur and create three new galleries.

It holds 250,000 specimens, ranging from dinosaur skeletons to volcanic rocks.

The National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art

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Marc Atkins

Officially opened by the Queen in November, this complex is home to the National Horseracing Museum, the Fred Packard Museum and Galleries of British Sporting Art, and a yard for the Retraining of Racehorses charity.

It is also home to two of the Queen’s former racehorses and a virtual Clare Balding.

Sir John Soane’s Museum

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Marc Atkins

Housed in the former home of 19th Century architect Sir John Soane, this gallery and museum has completed a £7m restoration intended to open up “lost” areas and return it to how it looked when he died and left it to the nation in 1837.

That includes creating 33 per cent more space and putting 10 per cent more objects on display.

Tate Modern

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Marc Atkins

Seventeen years after it opened on London’s South Bank, Tate Modern had a record 5.8 million visitors in 2016.

That was partly down to the opening of a 10-storey extension, the Switch House, and exhibitions of photographs owned by Sir Elton John and artwork by Georgia O’Keeffe.

Hepworth Wakefield

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Marc Atkins

The West Yorkshire gallery celebrated its fifth birthday last year and saw a 21% rise in visitors.

It also launched a major new award for British sculpture and staged exhibitions by Martin Parr, Stanley Spencer and Anthea Hamilton.


The winner of the Art Fund Museum of the Year will be announced on 5 July.

Art Fund director Stephen Deuchar said: “Each of these museums has had a remarkable year, reaching – in a range of ways – new heights in their efforts to serve and inspire their visitors.

“Whether unveiling new buildings, galleries, displays or public programmes, all the finalists have shown a real commitment to innovation and experimentation, offering fresh perspectives and new ways of seeing and understanding their collections.”

Last year’s prize was won by the Victoria and Albert in London.


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9 Curve-Friendly T-Shirts to Refresh Your Spring Wardrobe

The no-fail spring uniform is simple: a cool T-shirt with jeans, shorts, or a skirt. We’ve scoured the market for the best new Ts that will update your outfits (and accentuate those curves!). Scroll through our list of nine tees that are sure to pique your interest.

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VIDEO: 12 Perfect Outfit Ideas for Spring

Go from Swim to Gym with These Activewear Pairings

Paddle boarding, beach yoga, surfing, triathlon training—you name it, we’re ready for these water-based sports with what we like to call “swim-to-gym apparel.” Made with moisture-wicking fabric that dries quickly, these activewear pieces are meant to be worn in the water then transition to workouts on land.

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So, the next time you want to squeeze in an early-morning paddle-boarding session before your 8 A.M. cycling class, try one of these combos to take you from swim to gym.

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Mindhorn cast ‘comes home’ for Isle of Man premiere

Mindhorn cast ‘comes home’ for Isle of Man premiere

MindhornImage copyright
Steffan Hill

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Many recognisable Isle of Man landmarks feature in Mindhorn, including the Laxey Wheel, Strand Street in Douglas and the Sea Terminal

The cast and crew of the new comedy feature film Mindhorn have returned to the Isle of Man to attend a premiere in the place where it was shot last year.

While rugged Manx scenery has featured in dozens of movies, rarely has the island ever featured in the script.

More than 100 extras were used during the five-week shoot last summer which took in locations such as the Laxey Wheel and the Sea Terminal in Douglas.

Mindhorn actor Julian Barratt said: “We have come home for the Manx premiere.”

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Steffan Hill

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More than 100 extras were recruited in the Isle of Man for the filming of Mindhorn

He added: “When we were coming over and saw the island come into view from the ferry, we really felt like we were coming back to where the film was born.”

Mindhorn centres around a character called Richard Thorncroft (Barratt) who became famous in the 1980s while playing a detective.

In the new film he works alongside the police to catch a serial killer who will only speak to Mindhorn, whom he believes to be real.

“By this time the character is washed-up and out of work and sees this as an opportunity to get his career back on track,” said Barratt, who starred in cult BBC comedy The Mighty Boosh.

“Quite despicably he piggybacks on the crime as a way of getting get some publicity.”

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Julian Barratt and Simon Farnaby travelled to the Isle of Man for the premier of Mindhorn on Thursday

Mindhorn was co-written by Barratt and Simon Farnaby more than 10 years ago.

The pair looked at a few different options before settling on the Isle of Man as a location.

“We thought about Guernsey but that would have been too close to the idea of Bergerac so we Googled the Isle of Man and it had a faded grandeur about it which is very much like Richard,” said Farnaby.

“The island gets a gentle ribbing in the film but it’s done with affection and I think it will be taken well.”

Mindhorn, directed by Sean Foley, is out in the UK on 5 May.

ENO recruits diction coaches for new opera season

ENO recruits diction coaches for new opera season

The Barber of SevilleImage copyright
Mike Hoban

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The Barber of Seville is one of the ENO’s new season revivals

If you’ve ever struggled to hear every word being sung at an opera, things may be about to improve.

The English National Opera is to bring in diction coaches to ensure its productions are loud and clear.

Speaking at the launch of the ENO’s 2017/18 season, artistic director Daniel Kramer said: “We want to make sure that when we do sing in English it is as comprehensible as possible.”

Coaches are currently being recruited to work with the cast on each show.

“It’s a huge space in there,” said the ENO’s new music director Martyn Brabbins of the company’s 2,359-seat home at the London Coliseum.

“Some singers are more predisposed to do it than others… some singers find it more challenging. It’s a difficult thing. But tell me where you hear every word in any opera.”

The new ENO season features four new productions and five revivals at the London Coliseum.

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Robbie Jack

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The Marriage of Figaro is also among the productions

It will open with a new production of Verdi’s Aida, directed by Phelim McDermott, whose Akhnaten won an Olivier award earlier this month.

Verdi’s La Traviata will end the season, with Kramer directing Irish soprano Claudia Boyle in the role of “fallen woman” Violetta.

‘Financially stable’

The ENO has been through turbulent times in recent years.

In February 2015, the Arts Council of England cut its core funding by £5m and placed the company under “special funding arrangements”.

Two months later, the ENO announced it was cutting ticket prices in an attempt to secure its financial future.

Artistic director John Berry quit the following July after 10 years in the post.

In February 2016 the ENO chorus was set to strike over a pay dispute which was later resolved. A month later music director Mark Wigglesworth resigned after less than a year in the job.

At Thursday’s season announcement, CEO Cressida Pollock said the company was “more financially stable than we have been in over a decade”.

She said ticket price cuts in the balcony and upper circle had boosted audiences, and would be extended to the dress circle this year.

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Tristram Kenton

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Daniel Kramer took over as ENO artistic director last year

Kramer added that a new funding model – in which the London Coliseum is rented out to commercial musical productions such as Carousel and Bat Out of Hell – helped finance his opera programme.

“Bat Out of Hell is buying me a world premiere,” he said. “That’s how I look at it on paper.”

Looking further ahead to the end of 2018, ENO will mark the the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I with Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem.

In 2019 it will team up with Opera North for the world premiere of Iain Bell’s Jack the Ripper, which Kramer said would “look at the myth from the female perspective”.

With Rupert Charlesworth in the title role, the central female roles will sung by Josephine Barstow, Lesley Garrett, Susan Bullock, Janis Kelly and Marie McLaughlin.

Other 2017/18 season highlights:

  • Marnie – the world premiere of Nico Muhly’s latest opera based on novelist Winston Graham’s psychological thriller, which was also made into a 1964 film directed by Alfred Hitchcock
  • Iolanthe – Gilbert and Sullivan’s fantasy political satire directed by Cal McCrystal, who was responsible for the slapstick sequences in the National Theatre’s comedy hit One Man, Two Guvnors
  • The Turn of the Screw – Benjamin Britten’s spine-chilling chamber opera, based on the Henry James novella, in a co-production with Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
  • More revivals, including Jonathan Miller’s The Barber of Seville, Robert Carsen’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Fiona Shaw’s The Marriage of Figaro

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6 Fragrances That Will Make You Mom’s Favorite Child

What do you get for the woman who already has it all? Shopping for the perfect Mother’s Day gift can be some tricky territory, especially when your siblings always try to outdo you on who has the better gift. No more—2017 is your year, and we’ve rounded up the best spring fragrances that will keep on giving long after the Mother’s Day festivities have ended. Scroll down to see 7 fragrances mom is sure to love, to the dismay of your siblings.

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We fact-checked the Madonna film script

We fact-checked the Madonna film script

Madonna in 1984Image copyright
Rex Features

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Madonna has disputed the accuracy of the biopic

Not for the first time, Madonna is on the war path.

The focus of her rage is Universal Pictures, who snapped up a script about the singer’s early years in New York earlier this week.

Madonna sought out a copy of the screenplay, called Blonde Ambition, and immediately declared it to be “all lies”.

“Nobody knows what I know and what I have seen.” the 58-year-old fumed on Instagram.

“Only I can tell my story. Anyone else who tries is a charlatan and a fool. Looking for instant gratification without doing the work. This is a disease in our society.”

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Madonna / Instagram

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Madonna’s representative confirmed her Instagram post related to the Blonde Ambition script

Penned by first-time writer Elyse Hollander, Blonde Ambition topped last year’s Black List, Hollywood’s annual chart of the best unproduced screenplays.

The list has previously featured future Oscar-winners such as Spotlight, The Revenant, Argo and American Hustle – so it’s no surprise that Universal nabbed the rights.

Two major producers have already been attached to the project, Michael De Luca (The Social Network) and Brett Ratner (X-Men), who himself directed Madonna’s Beautiful Stranger video in 1999.

However, it’s clear that the project doesn’t have the star’s approval.

In theory, that’s not a barrier to the film getting made, but the script relies heavily on Madonna’s music, including Like A Virgin, Everybody and Lucky Star.

If the singer vetoes their use, the project would essentially be dead in the water.

But how inaccurate is Hollander’s script?

We read a publicly available draft to see how closely it stuck to Madonna’s story.

While the arc is broadly true, Hollander compresses and condenses events, even creating composite characters to keep up the momentum.

Here’s what’s true, and what isn’t.

True: Madonna was in a band called The Emmys

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PA

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The singer was in several bands before hitting the big time as a solo artist

The first act of the script focuses on Madonna’s pre-fame band The Emmys, which she formed with her boyfriend Dan Gilroy and childhood friend Stephen Bray, who went on to co-write Into The Groove, Express Yourself and True Blue.

Their name derived from Madonna’s childhood nickname, and video footage of their scrappy garage tunes can easily be found online.

The film insists the group were a cheap knock-off of new wave pop band Blondie, but their sound was more indebted to Britain’s ska and 2 Tone scenes.

Madonna can even be heard adopting a British accent in some of their early demos.

False: The Emmys were erased from history

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Getty Images

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The singer paid tribute to her bandmates in later years

One of the script’s biggest fabrications was that Madonna and The Emmys had a deal with Sire Records and cut an entire album before Madonna took the songs, erased Dan’s vocals and launched herself as a solo artist.

In reality, the band never got beyond making demo tapes; and many of the songs attributed to them in the film – including Borderline and Lucky Star – were written much later.

Madonna even paid tribute to Dan Gilroy when she was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008.

“He lived in an abandoned synagogue in Queens,” she recalled, “and he taught me how to play guitar.

“I practised those four chords that Dan taught me over and over and over again.”

Partially true: Madonna worked in a Russian tea room

At the start of Blonde Ambition, Madonna is seen waiting tables at New York’s prestigious Russian Tea Room.

While the star did work at the venue for two months, she was stationed in the cloakroom, and eventually let go for failing to adhere to the dress code.

“She was a hard worker, conscientious,” said restaurant manager Gregory Camillucci in 1991.

“I got the impression that the one meal we fed her was the only food she was getting.”

True: She dated her producer, Jellybean Benitez

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Rex / Shutterstock

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Madonna and Jellybean in 1983

Blonde Ambition’s biggest sub-plot is Madonna’s romance with dance producer John “Jellybean” Benitez, who produced her breakthrough single, Holiday, and remixed others, including Material Girl, Like A Virgin and Dress You Up.

They first met at the influential New York club Fun House, where, according to one observer, Madonna “walked right up to the DJ booth, grabbed him and kissed him”.

After that, they dated for two years, during which time Madonna’s career exploded – leading to inevitable tensions and the eventual breakdown of their relationship.

However, it’s unlikely that their courtship included the sort of “romantic” dialogue Hollander provides in her script.

“You’re the first Latin DJ to break out of genre in a heavily white industry and I’m a driven woman in [an] all boys club,” says Madonna during one encounter. “We’re both outsiders but I’m willing to work the system from within. Are you?”

True: (Most of) the things she said

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Getty Images

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Many of the quotes come from archive interviews with the singer

Throughout the script, entire lines of dialogue are lifted verbatim from Madonna’s interviews, including the pivotal quote: “It never occurred to me to get into this business and not be a huge success. I wanted the world to notice me, always have.”

In fact, Hollander’s reliance on archive clips caught Madonna out during her Instagram rant.

As an example of the script’s inaccuracies, the singer singled out a line of dialogue on the first page, in which Madonna tells US TV personality Dick Clark: “I was born in Detroit. I’m a famed high school dropout.”

“I was born in Bay City, not Detroit. And I did not drop out of high school. In fact, I went to University of Michigan,” Madonna said.

But the interview Hollander quotes is available on YouTube – which might explain why Madonna later deleted her comments.

However, some of her quotes have been placed in a new context.

On page 58 of the script, Madonna tells Jellybean: “I always knew I was going to be a nun or a star. Spending six months in a convent cured me of the first one.”

This superb (and untrue) piece of hyperbole actually comes from a handwritten letter Madonna sent to film director Stephen Lewicki, requesting an audition for his movie A Certain Sacrifice.

Partially true: She signed her record deal in hospital

One of the most well-worn Madonna stories is that Seymour Stein signed her to Sire Records in hospital, hours after having heart surgery.

In the script, this is all at Madonna’s behest. So desperate is she to sign the deal that she frog-marches to his ward and practically puts the pen in his hand.

But Stein insists hewas the one who summoned Madonna to him.

“I was caught with dirty pyjamas with a slit up the back of my gown,” he told Rolling Stone.

“”I needed a shave and a shower. But I got it together to meet with her.

“When she walked in the room, I could tell she wouldn’t have cared if I was like Sarah Bernhardt lying in a coffin.

“All she cared about was that one of my arms moved, that I could sign a contract.

“What I saw there was even more important than the one song I heard.

“I saw a young woman who was so determined to be a star.”

Uncertain: The abortion

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Getty Images

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Madonna later tackled the subject of abortion in Papa Don’t Preach

In Blonde Ambition’s final scene, backstage at the 1984 MTV Awards, Madonna coldly informs Jellybean that she has aborted their child.

“I won’t have to choose between my career and a family now,” she says, not even deigning to make eye contact. “And that’s how I want it.”

Madonna has never suggested she was pregnant in 1984, and Hollander’s claim would appear to be based on Christopher Andersen’s salacious 1992 biography Madonna: Unauthorized (you can read an excerpt here).

However, Madonnahas spoken about having an abortion during the early years of her career on several occasions.

“You always have regrets when you make those kind of decisions,” she told Times Magazine in 1996, “but you have to look at your lifestyle and ask, ‘Am I at a place in my life where I can devote a lot of time to being the really good parent I want to be?’

“I think you have to be mentally prepared for it. If you’re not, you’re only doing the world a disservice by bringing up a child you don’t want.”

(A group of New York Film Students have filmed Blonde Ambition’s final scene, should you be interested in watching an am-dram version of the movie).

True: The feud with Cher

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Getty Images

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Cher and Madonna have traded barbed words for the past 30 years

“I think Madonna’s vulgar and tacky,” says Cher on the 83rd page of Blonde Ambition. “She’s a flash in the pan at best.”

Amazing though it may seem, the quote is real.

Madonna even responded to the comment in a 1984 interview with her future biographer J Randy Taborelli, saying: “Who knows tacky better than Cher?”

False: Madonna auditioned songwriters in a swimming pool

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Holiday was Madonna’s breakout hit, and the UK’s introduction to the future Queen of Pop

Half-way through Blonde Ambition, Madonna is desperately seeking a final song to complete her debut album. So she and Jellybean hold an open audition in an indoor swimming pool at the YMCA.

After a montage of dismal musicians playing dismal songs, funk duo Pure Energy walk through the double doors.

Singer Lisa Stevens and bassist Curtis Hudson (bizarrely renamed Richard Curtis in Hollander’s script) nervously set up their instruments before playing what will become Madonna’s signature song, Holiday.

Great story – but it never happened.

The band originally submitted a cassette demo of the song to Mary Wilson, of The Supremes.

When she rejected it, Holiday was passed on to Jellybean, who presented it to Madonna.

“The song still generates money,” Curtis told blogcritics in 2006 .

“Can you live off of one hit? Yes, you can if you get the right hit. It can last you a lifetime. We’ve been living proof of that. If we did nothing else, the royalties from Holiday could support us.”

True: She fell over at the 1984 MTV Awards

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Warner Bros / Sire Records

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Madonna’s MTV performance echoed the cover of her second album, Like A Virgin

Madonna’s most public mishap came at the 2015 Brit Awards, when she was yanked off stage by a cape.

But it had happened once before – at the first MTV Awards in 1984, when she lost a stiletto while walking down a 17ft (5m) tall wedding cake in her wedding dress (it could happen to anyone).

Although the incident plays a pivotal part in Blonde Ambition – has she lost the baby? – it was never as serious as the script makes out.

“I thought, ‘Well, I’ll just pretend I meant to do this,'” Madonna later said. “So I dove on the floor and I rolled around. And, as I reached for the shoe, the dress went up. And [my] underpants were showing.”

The stumble-flash made television history and propelled Madonna to even greater heights. And that’s where the film drops the curtain.

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Chic Water Bottles Celebrities Always Carry

Celebrities are always modeling the hottest handbags or rocking the coolest sunglasses. But there’s another accessory category that’s slowly taking over. Ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to reintroduce you to the water bottle. Yeah, you read that correctly. Instead of carrying around plastic options, stars are accessorizing with reusable water bottles.

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In addition to cutting down on waste, the tubes won’t contaminate beverages since they are BPA/BPS free. Oh, and did we mention the designs are extremely cute? They come in so many colors and have just as many fun designs as traditional accessories. So no matter what the celebrities are wearing, they look good while doing good. That’s definitely a win-win.

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Keep scrolling to learn more about three popular water bottles.

7 Celeb Looks from the ’90s That Work Just as Well Today

Classic looks are just that: classic. It doesn’t matter whether something was worn two decades ago or yesterday, if it’s real fashion, it’s timeless. We sorted through photos of our favorite style stars of the ’90s (and it just so happens that they’re all still style stars in 2017!) for notable looks that can also be spotted today.

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A chic trench? A great pair of jeans? A slip dress? All ’90s faves that are still worn on the streets today. Scroll down to take a stroll down memory lane—and perhaps to pick out your next outfit.

VIDEO: You Can Order These 13 Treats From the ’90s

Dame Judi: I love Tracey Ullman’s ‘evil Judi’ sketches

Dame Judi: I love Tracey Ullman’s ‘evil Judi’ sketches

Tracey Ullman as Dame Judi Dench

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Tracey Ullman as Dame Judi Dench: A menace to society

Dame Judi Dench has declared herself a big fan of comedy sketches that show her using her fame to get away with shoplifting and other petty crime.

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Tracey Ullman played Dame Judi last year as a nefarious national treasure – stealing, smashing china in a boutique and hurling bags of dog poo into trees.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Front Row about Ullman’s portrayal, she said: “I love it. I dote on it.

“But I get into trouble now if I go into a shop with a bag over my arm.”

Ullman is “brilliant”, the actress said – but joked that the sketches in the BBC One comedy show have caused problems.

“It’s tricky, people look at me in a funny way,” she said, adding: “A man came up to me in M&S the other day and said to me, ‘I’ve got my eye on you’.”

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PA

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The real Dame Judi: The paragon of respectability

Dame Judi was speaking as she unveiled a blue plaque for her friend, the late actor Sir John Gielgud, at his former London home.

She told Front Row that Sir John was one of the greatest Shakespearean actors and that young actors would do well to learn from his performances.

She said: “He used to present the whole of a sentence, the whole arc of a sentence, or the meaning of a passage of Shakespeare.

“We’re in an unfortunate century where people think, ‘oh Shakespeare, it needs to be changed because we don’t understand what things mean’. That’s not so. One can understand it and John was sublime at being able to tell you exactly what it meant.”


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