LONDON – Actress Judi Dench is battling to save her sight.

The James Bond star said in an interview published Saturday that she had been diagnosed with macular degeneration, an eye condition which can cause blindness, and that her eyesight was already so bad that she couldn’t even read her own scripts.

The 77-year-old told the Daily Mirror that she was relying on friends and family to keep her up to speed with her lines.

“It’s usually my daughter or my agent or a friend and actually I like that, because I sit there and imagine the story in my mind,” she told the newspaper during an interview at a London hotel. “The most distressing thing is in a restaurant in the evening I can’t see the person I’m having dinner with.”

The Mirror didn’t say exactly where or when the interview took place. Messages left for Dench’s agent were not immediately returned Saturday.

Dench made her Shakespearean debut in 1957 at London’s Old Vic and has since taken on a vast number of theater, film and television roles.

She won an Academy Award for her role as Queen Elizabeth I in “Shakespeare in Love” and is best known to international audiences as intelligence boss M in the James Bond series.

Illness forces singer’s spouse to leave radio show

NEW YORK – Nick Cannon has stepped down from his New York City radio show.

Cannon said in a statement on the 92.3 NOW website that Friday was his last day hosting the two-year-old daily show, called “Rollin’.”

He said doctors had ordered him to cut back on his professional commitments and get more rest. He tweeted Friday that doctors had found blood clots in his lungs.

The 31-year-old entertainer was hospitalized last month after suffering from what his wife, Mariah Carey, called “mild kidney failure.”

The couple became parents of twins — a son, Moroccan, and a daughter, Monroe — last year.

Cannon said he’ll continue to host his syndicated weekend show, “Cannon’s Countdown.” He added that he will “look forward to contributing to 92.3 NOW whenever possible.”

Ruby slippers stepping out of public view

WASHINGTON – Dorothy’s ruby slippers from “The Wizard of Oz” are being removed from a Smithsonian exhibit to be conserved.

Curators say the famous shoes are old and need to be prepared for a future display at the National Museum of American History.

The last day to see the slippers in their current exhibit is Wednesday. They will return to public view April 5 in a new exhibit called “American Stories.”

The slippers were donated anonymously to the museum in 1979 and have been on display almost continuously since.

The 1939 movie’s costume designer altered red shoes by attaching netting on their tops and heels and covering them with red sequins.


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