Dame Judi Dench Reveals Her First Time Meeting Geoffrey Palmer Didn't Get Off To The Best Start

The two actors shared an on-screen partnership that lasted more than a decade in the sitcom As Time Goes By.

Dame Judi Dench has revealed that her first meeting with the late Geoffrey Palmer didn’t exactly get off to the best start.

The two actors appeared opposite one another in the long-running sitcom As Time Goes By, in which they played a former couple who reunited after 38 years apart.

As Time Goes By ran for nine series between 1992 and 2005, but in a new interview with Radio Times, Dame Judi admitted that she and Geoffrey – who died earlier this month, aged 93 – had a bit of an awkward moment during their first meeting.

She told the magazine: β€œWe met for lunch to discuss the show, he got us off to a good start when he informed me that they’d wanted Jean Simmons for the part, but she’d declined!”

Despite their shaky start, Dame Judi became firm friends with her co-star, who she says was a β€œremarkable actor”.

β€œHe’s unsurpassed as far as comedy is concerned, aided by that lugubrious face and his amazing voice,” she said.

Dame Judi Dench and Geoffrey Palmer
Dame Judi Dench and Geoffrey Palmer
Kirsty O'Connor - PA Images via Getty Images

Dame Judi previously paid her respects to Geoffrey earlier this month, revealing he was frequently getting her into trouble on the set of As Time Goes By.

β€œOh my goodness how we laughed,” she said. β€œThere were a lot of outtakes. He got me into endless trouble.

β€œI have admired him all my life. How lucky to have been in something with him for so long.”

Radio Times also featured a tribute from Geoffrey’s Butterflies co-star Wendy Craig, who said: β€œGeoffrey was a cool actor – he didn’t push it. Everything was understated. He had a great sense of comedy and I’ve never met an actor with a better sense of timing.

β€œThe most beautiful thing was his voice. It was unmistakable, with its smooth, seductive, perfect diction. It’s no wonder he was used on those car commercials.”

Wendy Craig pictured earlier this year
Wendy Craig pictured earlier this year
VICTORIA JONES via Getty Images

In addition to As Time Goes By, Dame Judi and Geoffrey both appeared in the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies, in which he played Admiral Roebuck, and she reprised her role as M.

Read more in the new issue of Radio Times, on sale now.

Radio Times

RIP Celebs: Stars We Lost In 2020


What's Hot