Dame Judi to star for Britain in world promotional tourism drive

Dame Judi Dench is to become an ambassador to the world in a campaign by tourism chiefs to rake in billions for the industry through the Royal wedding and London Olympics.

Now officially established as a national treasure, the star first trod the boards as a teenager in her home city of York.

As part of a new campaign by VisitBritain she appears in a promotional film shot at Hever Castle and gardens, the childhood home of Anne Boleyn in Kent.

VisitBritain says Dame Judi agreed to appear in the film as part of a global marketing campaign based around the Royal wedding and the 2012 Games.

Officials say they are also in the market to persuade Prince William, soccer star David Beckham and actor Daniel Craig to appear in similar films.

A spokesman continued: "Hever Castle is a very beautiful place and Dame Judi chose it as a location. She is the leading actress of her generation, world famous and extremely keen on Britain as a place.

"The choice of the castle was to sum up her emotions and feelings about this country.

"The whole motion behind the campaign is to say to the world, 'You're invited'. We are using the voices and faces or real people to extend the invitation to the world."

VisitBritain chief executive Sandie Dawe has already forecast Prince William's marriage to Kate Middleton could deliver a major boost to the British economy and the arts.

Hopes that the Olympics will provide a similar bonus have also soared following VisitBritain research.