Dames Judi Dench and Sian Phillips become first female members of Garrick Club

Dame Judi Dench and Dame Sian Phillips are set to become the first female members of The Garrick Club.

The legendary actresses will be the first women to join the private members' club in its 193-year-old history, following a recent vote by members to allow women in, according to The Guardian.

Judi, 89, and Sian, 91, were given fast-tracked membership during the club’s annual general meeting this week, while the usual membership process can take between two and five years.

Other nominees included former home secretary Amber Rudd, classics editor Mary Beard, Labour Ayesha Hazarika and Channel 4's Cathy Newman.

Mary Ann Sieghart, the author of 'The Authority Gap: Why Women Are Still Taken Less Seriously Than Men', said: "The Garrick is symbolically really important. The principle has been accepted and that’s the main thing. I’m thrilled that they have started accepting female members."

Meanwhile, Judi recently revealed she has no plans for any more acting jobs as she “can’t even see”.

The Oscar-winning actress has not appeared on the big screen since she appeared in 2022’s ‘Spirited’ and is losing her sight to macular degeneration, which has grown so severe she can no longer drive or read scripts.

When asked if she has any acting work planned, she told a reporter at London’s recent Chelsea Flower Show: “No, no, I can't even see!”

The Daily Mirror has reported her agent said there was nothing more to add to Judi’s comment when they were approached for clarification on her acting plans.

Her representative told the newspaper: “Judi has nothing more to add than all she mentioned to the journalist.”

Judi is still busy with off-screen projects, and is still promoting her 2023 book, ‘Shakespeare: The Man Who Pays the Rent’.

She is planning to appear at Cheltenham Book Fair and has three shows planned with raconteur Gyles Brandreth.

Near the end of 2022, Judi said she was refusing to retire despite her eye condition.

She told Louis Theorux on the BBC’s ‘Louis Theroux Interviews’ show: “I don’t want to retire. I’m not doing much at the moment because I can’t see. It’s bad.

“I have a photographic memory so a person saying to me, ‘'This is your line...’. I can do that .”