Dame Judi Dench taken off air as The One Show hit by technical blunder: ‘Shut her laptop!’

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Dame Judi, 85, joined The One Show hosts Alex Jones, 43, and Chris Ramsey, 33, to speak about seeing theatre live in the midst of the coronavirus crisis. To begin tonight’s programme, the presenters kicked off by speaking with the actress but it seemed a technical difficulty was already arising as the quality of her picture was pixelated. By the time a pre-recorded segment had been shown on the BBC programme, the former James Bond star was nowhere to be seen as it seemed her internet bandwidth had cut short her stint.


The theatre star had been pictured next to Bridesmaids actress Rose Byrne, 40, at the beginning of the programme, although the latter’s appearance had also been delayed due to a technical error.

Once two did appear together, however, it wasn’t for long as the connection on Dame Judi’s end had been lost completely following a pre-recorded film.

It was just the Australian film star who could be seen with the hosts when the camera returned to the studio, with the other guest seemingly missing.

With Alex having displayed her acting skills during the pre-recorded segment, she said it was going to be “even more embarrassing” as two actresses were sitting before her.

Mentioning the blunder, Chris quipped: “I think Dame Judi’s shut her laptop. I think she’s just gone.”


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Alex burst into hysterics as she held her head in her hands, as her co-host jibed: “Rose stayed out of pity.”

“Let’s move on,” Chris’ co-star remarked, but taking to Twitter, those watching at home were concerned with Dame Judi’s appearance.

One viewer wrote on the social media platform: “#TheOneShow I would’ve thought they could’ve provisioned M with decent broadband.”

Another added: “Dame Judy love you need a better internet connection #bbcone #theoneshow,” with a third commenting: “Judi Dench on her 28k modem #TheOneShow.”

I think Dame Judi’s shut her laptop.

Chris Ramsey

It was clear the technical problems were still causing an issue later on in the show as the hosts had to speak about what Dame Judi was going to announce.

However, towards the end of the programme, the actress’ feed was back and she was able to complete her interview with Alex and Chris.

The guest unveiled her collaboration with The One Show and The Shakespeare North Playhouse to launch a new children’s playwriting competition.

Entitled As You Write It, Your Play on Stage, the initiative aims to help youngsters aged between seven and 16 to bring their works to stage.

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Entrants will have to come up with an idea for a play which features up to four characters and supplement this with the first few lines of the show.

They also need to give a rationale as to what having the chance to write and see their plays on stage would mean to them.

Entries will have to be submitted by Monday, August 31, 2020, and in the autumn, three finalists will be chosen to develop their works.

Speaking of the new project, Dame Judi said: “It is vital to do something like this during lockdown.”


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“It will fire children’s imagination and will spark their interest in going to the theatre,” the actress continued.

“A good story makes a good play and sometimes that story is told by a very few people and sometimes it’s told by quite a lot.

“You have to have a good story that will keep people on their toes and make them want to know what happens next.”

Judge and host of the show Alex added: “I’m confident that we’ll have a huge response to this competition. A child’s first trip to the theatre – be it the West End or to see the local panto – is very special and really captures their imagination, as it did for me as a child.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity and I’m looking forward to seeing what they come up with.”

The One Show airs weeknights at 7pm on BBC One.

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