Dame Judi has said that she is suffering from macular degeneration which can eventually lead to blindness. She has said that this has meant she has struggled to read the scripts she has been given and has relied upon the generosity of friends and family to help her learn her lines. She said: “I can’t read scripts any more because of the trouble with my eyes. And so somebody comes in and reads them to me, like telling me a story.”
The good news is that some recent treatment has meant that the condition is not currently getting any worse. Her condition results in loss of the centre of the visual field due to damage to a part of the retina called the macular, and most commonly affects people over 50. It is thought to affect almost 240,000 people in the UK.
She said of the problem: “As long as there is a possibility of working I’m not going to retire because if I retire nothing will work any more and it’s hard enough as it is.”
Dame Judi is currently in the news with the release of her latest movie “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” in which she stars opposite Dame Maggie Smith, Dev Patel and Bill Nighy. The movie is about a group of pensioners who retire to India and is on general release in the UK from this Friday (24 February).
In a radio interview she had said she would perform live with Cole only if the former judge was allowed to use “auto-tune” technology to correct her voice. She then went on tv’s Daybreak to quickly apologise for the remark saying that it was only said as a joke. She said: “Basically I said something on radio that I shouldn’t have said and it wasn’t intended to sound as bad as it did. All I was saying was that I would love to perform with her live and then I made a little joke… I want to say sorry to her if she found that offensive. At the end of the day, she was the person who got me where I am today. If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be where I was.”
The original gaffe came when Cher appeared on Real Radio North West’s Real Breakfast Show. During the radio interview Lloyd also admitted that she had not heard from her former mentor since the X Factor final back in 2010.
After Lloyd’s remarks on the radio Cheryl Cole took to Twitter to say: “Be careful who you kick on your way up… They kick you twice as hard on your way back down.” In a further posting, she added: “Unappreciation is ugly.”
There has been no comment so far from Cole or her management following Lloyd’s apology.