Dame Judi Dench likes the fact starring in James Bond films has made her ''a bit cool''.

The star appeared as the character M in seven films in the spy series from 1995 to 2012 and is pleased it has introduced her to a younger generation of moviegoers.

She said: ''I have a lot of young chaps that ask me for autographs that think I'm a bit cool and that can't be bad.

''Maybe they'll come for the theatre. All I ever feel is that my job is baiting people to come to the theatre. But it's lovely to have a young audience. Before, they used to say, 'Could I have your autograph - it's for my granny'. It's now, 'Could I have your autograph - it's for my 11-year-old son.' And you think, 'Oh, it's very good.' ''

Judi, 78, has now stepped down from playing the character, and will miss appearing in the film franchise.

She added: ''When they come to do the new film, you bet I'll miss him.''