Dame Judi Dench surprises Scottish hotel guests with performance

Whether the British actress actually played the piano was open to online speculation

Dame Judi Dench. Getty
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Hollywood star Dame Judi Dench and singer Sharleen Spiteri surprised guests at a Scottish hotel with an impromptu musical performance on New Year's Eve.

A video posted on Twitter shows the pair sharing a stool, with Dame Judi playing the piano and singing parts of Abba’s hit Waterloo while Ms Spiteri belts out the song.

The performance took place at The Fife Arms in Braemar, Aberdeenshire, just before midnight fireworks welcomed in 2023.

Twitter users expressed their thoughts on the clip.

“Two absolute legends,” said one, while another recalled boarding the same train as Dame Judi years ago.

Whether or not the actress played the piano was also open to speculation.

Dame Judi Dench. PA

“Did no one else notice that this was a self-playing piano? The keys are moving by themselves and Dame Judy is acting wonderfully well! (Sorry to spoil the party atmos)," said one Twitter user.

Another said: “Look at the keys, she’s not actually playing.”

Despite this, Ewan Venters, the chief executive of Artfarm, which owns The Fife Arms, told BBC Scotland the rendition brought happiness to those present.

“Judi Dench and Sharleen Spiteri were staying at the hotel and we had an impromptu moment at the piano,” he said.

“It was a happy evening with lots of guests and locals clapping.

Singer Sharleen Spiteri attends the British premiere of If These Walls Could Sing in London on December 12. Reuters

“[Judi and Sharleen] had met previously but after dinner they met in the lobby and took to the piano. Guests were somewhat shocked but loved it.

“Two legends — a Scottish musician, Sharleen Spiteri, and Dame Judi who, although born in the city of York, is an honorary Scot for not least playing Queen Victoria on so many occasions.

“Mrs Brown was back on Royal Deeside.”

Updated: January 01, 2023, 10:22 PM