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Tuesday June 3, 2014 9:30 am

Cumberbatch Gets Judi Dench to Star in ‘Richard III’

Judi Dench and Benedict Cumberbatch

Judi Dench agreed to star in an adaptation of Richard III after a public plea from Benedict Cumberbatch over the weekend.

The veteran actress was taking part in a question and answer session at the Hay Festival in Powys, Wales when the Sherlock star - who will take on the title role in the BBC drama this autumn - jumped at the chance to pin her down to the project following lengthy rumors he was keen to have her on board to play Queen Margaret in the Shakespearean tale.

"Would you like to be in Richard III with me?" Benedict asked. After a lengthy pause, Judi replied, "Yeah." Apparently there was a rather good theatrical pause until she finally said, "Yeah."

The actor joined the Skyfall star on stage for a mini performance of a number of Shakespeare plays, including Twelfth Night and Antony and Cleopatra.

The 79-year-old actress recalled her appearance in the latter production opposite Anthony Hopkins in 1987, admitting many felt her casting was unlikely: "People just laughed when it was announced I was going to be Cleopatra - she's meant to be a very, very tall girl so the challenge of that was considerable. As Anthony Hopkins was dying in my arms he'd say to me, 'I'm off for a nice cup of tea now.'"

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