1978: Judi Dench in ATV's Comedy of ErrorsIn light of the recent success of Skyfall, and ahead of this year’s announcement for the Oscar nominations on 10th January, research commissioned by a home phone and broadband provider has revealed that Brits feel most proud of Judi Dench compared to the top five British actors of all time.

Playing the character M in a handful of recent James Bond films, alongside other prolific roles such as Mrs Fairfax in Jane Eyre and her Oscar-winning performance as Queen Elizabeth in Shakespeare in Love, Dame Judi Dench has earned the top spot in Britain’s heart.

Eight in 10 (81%) women are proud of Judi Dench compared to just over two thirds (68%) of men. Maggie Smith, the only other female in the poll who secured fourth place, also inspires pride in women with 13% more women than men being proud of the actress, currently nominated for a Golden Globe for her supporting role in Downton Abbey.

The top five actors and actresses Brits are most proud of in the Plusnet poll are:

  1. Judi Dench (75%)
  2. Michael Caine (65%)
  3. Laurence Olivier (62%)
  4. Maggie Smith (60%)
  5. Ian McKellan (56%)

Jamie Ford, Plusnet CEO, said, “…It is interesting to see that one of the things Brits are truly proud of is the great talent our country has to offer the film industry.”

While those over the age of 65 show more pride for the old Hollywood classics, with nearly eight in 10 people (79%) of this age group being proud of Laurence Olivier, compared to only half this amount for those aged 18-24 (41%), they are not as proud of British actors in general.

Comparing age groups it is those in the lower age brackets that feel the highest levels of pride for actors in Britain, scoring 58% in contrast to just 41% of over 65’s. This is despite a new trend in films catering for the ‘grey pound’ with works such as The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Quartet on the increase, for which both Judi Dench and Maggie Smith have received Golden Globe nominations for respectively.

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