Dame Judi Dench traced her family roots to prepare for her acclaimed new film Philomena, which centres around the search for long-lost relatives.

The actress portrays a woman searching for the son she gave up for adoption in the 1950s in the true-life film, and to get a sense of what it feels like to meet kin for the first time, producers arranged for the Oscar winner to meet family members while she was shooting in Northern Ireland.

She says, "All my relations are from Dublin, or from Ballinasloe in the West... When we went to Rostrevor to film in Northern Ireland and we did some shots, a man came up to me and said, 'You know you've got cousins in this town - and they're coming up to see you any minute!'

"I'm sorry we didn't go to a lot more places, we could have found a lot more cousins. That was good."