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Wednesday, 21 August, 2002, 16:37 GMT 17:37 UK
Bubbly soaking as Dench names ship
Dame Judi Dench
Dame Judi took three attempts to smash the bottle
Oscar-winning actress Dame Judi Dench has been left covered in champagne after smashing a bottle against the side of a ship she was launching in Essex.

She was in Essex to officially name the Carnival Legend, a new 250m cruise ship which can carry more than 2,000 people.


I am godmother to 13 godchildren and a god-dog - now I'm godmother to a great ship

Dame Judi Dench
Dame Judi, who was performing the ceremony for charity, took three attempts to smash the bottle against the hull, aided by ship's captain Claudio Cupisci.

The third attempt saw the bottle successfully smash but the force sent the flowing champagne over her hair, face and clothes.

She took the soaking in good sprits and announced she was delighted to have been asked to become godmother to the ship.

"I am godmother to 13 godchildren and also godmother to a god-dog - now I'm godmother to a great ship," said Dame Judi.

'Messsage'

"I have always taken my responsibility as godmother extremely seriously, and I hope that if at any time this great ship feels it needs my help, it will feel free to call on me and I will go rushing to its side."

Dame Judi Dench
Dench: "Overwhelmed" to be asked to name the ship
Dame Judi, who flew from Scotland on Wednesday, added that the ship represented the world because of the many nationalities on board.

"It seems a wonderful message to me that you can have something so beautiful and where everybody gets on with everybody else and is a world in itself, it's a good thing for us to think about at the moment," she said.

The Oscar-winning actress said she felt overwhelmed to be asked to name the ship.

A spokesman for Carnival Cruise Lines said that in return for Dame Judi's appearance, 16,000 would be donated to good causes of her choice.

The British Lung Foundation and the Oxford Iris Murdoch Appeal are to benefit from the donation.

See also:

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