Dame Judi Dench has become a patron for Mole Valley's Arts Alive festival 2019, it was announced yesterday (June 19).

Dame Judi, an Academy Award winner and seven-time Oscar nominee who lives in Surrey, said she was "delighted" to lend her name to Mole Valley’s community arts festival according to Mole Valley District Council (MVDC), who are supporting the event.

This year the celebration of arts in the region will be based around theatre and film theme in her honour, MVDC said.

Taking place throughout October, Arts Alive is regarded as the biggest arts festival in the South East.

As well as film and theatre, there will be music, literature, dance, painting, poetry, modern and traditional crafting and horticulture.

Many of the events taking place for the festival are free to attend or ticketed for under £5.

Councillor Stephen Cooksey, Leader of Mole Valley District Council, said: "We are delighted that one of Britain’s greatest actresses accepted Arts Alive’s invitation to be festival patron.

"This is fantastic news for our local arts festival, which is incredibly now in its 23rd year.

"MVDC is proud to support Arts Alive; it is a unique opportunity for the community to come together and engage with the arts," Cllr Cooksey said.

This year's event will feature screenings of productions by world-famous organisations including the National Theatre, the Royal Opera and the Bolshoi Ballet.

The launch event for Arts Alive will take place in Leatherhead High Street on Saturday, September 21, from 10am to 12pm.

This year, the celebrations will be led by theatre company Cabareilidh, who combine staged folk cabaret with a traditional Surrey ceilidh.

There will also be activities for children including face painting and a knights’ battle, courtesy of the medieval festival that will be happening in Leatherhead on the same day.

See the full line-up of events in the festival brochure, which comes out at the end of August. Events will also be listed online at www.arts-alive.co.uk