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Judi Dench signs up for Stephen Frears' Philomena

Dame Judi Dench as M in The World Is Not Enough

Story by Jack Foley

DAME Judi Dench is to reunite with director Stephen Frears for new British drama Philomena.

The celebrated actress, who will shortly be seen reprising her role as M in Skyfall, will play the title role, a woman who conducts a 50-year search for the son she was forced to give up for adoption.

Shooting is due to take place in Ireland, the UK and America from November.

Based on the 2009 book The Lost Child of Philomena Lee: A Mother, Her Son and a 50 Year Search by former BBC correspondent and Labour government advisor Martin Sixsmith, the book follows Philomena Lee, an unmarried teenager in ’50s Ireland who was coerced by Roman Catholic nuns into selling her infant child, Anthony, to a wealthy couple in Missouri.

Once old enough, she determines to search for her child, no matter where it takes her.

Steve Coogan has also joined the cast as the journalist who helps Lee in her search.

Dench last worked with Frears in 2005 for the acclaimed Mrs Henderson Presents.

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