Let Dame Judi be the judge: Should I start having a bottle of whiskey for breakfast?

Dame Judi Dench, award-winning actor and certified national treasure, answers your moral quandries.

Dear Dame Judi,

Let me start by saying I’m a very fit and healthy chap. I go to the gym three times a week and I always have my five fruit and veg a day, even if it means doing something embarrassing like eating a banana while watching a football match.

The other day I was enjoying a breakfast of porridge with whey protein and blueberries when I got a sudden urge to pour myself a big glass of Glenfiddich. I did, and it felt brilliant! I don’t really drink except on special occasions, but it got me thinking that maybe I should make breakfast an exception to my strict diet, and start having a whole bottle of whisky instead of my usual kale smoothie. 

I mean, what’s the point of all the weightlifting and macro-counting if I can’t enjoy myself? 

Please help. 

Robert, Hertfordshire

Dear Robert,

Lovely to hear from you, and thanks for outlining how healthy and toned you are. It certainly gave me something to think about while I was filming a disgusting kissing scene with an elderly gent earlier today. I’ve been on at my agent, but for whatever reason they refuse to cast me in a project that would really challenge me as an actor – that is, an unsimulated sex scene with Paul Mescal. Oh well.

Your problem is one of the toughest I’ve had to face during my tenure as an Agony Dame. On the one hand, whisky is lovely. On the other, you can’t really turn up pissed to work, even if you’re one of those modern types who fannies about at home instead of going into the office. 

Being drunk on the job is the kind of thing that despicable twat James Bond would do, and needless to say I have no patience with fucking arseholes like him.

My advice is to build up your tolerance over a number of months, ‘micro-dosing’ hard liquor over the course of a day until sinking a massive bottle of booze at 8am is nothing to you. Did you know that they do small bottles of alcohol now, specifically for this purpose? Whenever I’m in duty free I always pick up some miniatures so I can slug a few over a filming day. If anyone sees the bottles in the bin at work, just blame the make-up artist (or in your case, a colleague who sits nearby). They might get fired, but it’s for the greater good. 

Your strict regimen tells me you have the self-control and patience to make this really work for you. But if you ever need some moral support and the names of some cheap offies, I’ll DM you my phone number, email and home address. 


Dame Judi, CH, DBE

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