Dame Judi Dench has been closed friends with Dame Maggie Smith since 1958 and have worked together in a number of plays and films. But will she ever star alongside her old pal in Downton Abbey?

“I don’t know, who knows?” says the 80-year-old actress. “”I love watching it and I’d miss watching it if I were in it.”

If Judi were to appear in the show she would star alongside Smith, who plays the sharp-tongued Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham. 

Recently, the two friends teamed up again to star in the The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, the sequel to 2011’s The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
 

“Maggie and I were at the Old Vic together in 1958!” says Judi. “We’ve done plays together, films together. The same with Bill Nighy and Celia Imrie, who also star in the Marigold Hotel films. You have a shorthand with someone you know very, very well. I love being part of a company. I’d never consider doing something on my own, like a monologue.”