Dame Judi Dench: Poor eyesight reduced my nerves

DAME Judi Dench believes losing her eyesight has reduced her nerves when she performs live. 

The 79-year-old actress suffers from macular degeneration, an age-related eye condition which leads to gradual loss of vision, and has found it allows her to relax a lot quicker because she can't see the audience.  

Speaking about her live performance at the Proms in 2010, she told the Daily Mirror newspaper: "Fortunately now I can't see very clear, I used to be able to see every member of the audience and exactly what they were doing. I can't do that anymore which in a way is a wonderful blessing. I didn't realise it was a blessing until I went on that night at the Proms. 

"There was like a sea of corn in front of me. And I looked up and thought, 'There is nobody upstairs.' "  

The 'Philomena' star has spent the last few years in film but admits she misses working on stage and has hinted that a return to theatre may be in the pipeline.  

She explained: "My daughter is on tour at the moment and we went the other night and sat there in the theatre and I thought, 'Gosh I miss that.'   

"That whole thing of getting ready and going on and it being slightly different from the last night, slightly better or slightly worse. I really miss that."