Annis is the upper-crust WI chairman, Joyce Cameron.
It’s a role that makes the most of her talent for playing ladies with social poise and chilly charm – although, fortunately, in the flesh she is actually more warm and witty and mischievous than any of those roles, including the latest, would suggest.
Nor, with an enduring beauty like hers, does she need to. “People must do what they want, and cosmetic surgery is part of the culture that we live in.
It’s no good saying, 'Oh well, that’s just Hollywood.’ It’s not. Maybe, with a little bit of luck, it will come and go as a fad.
But the privilege that you have is to make that choice, and if you want to make that choice then who am I to criticise?
” Born in London in 1945, Annis had an English father but was raised in her mother’s Catholic religion.
Based on Julie Summers’ book, Jambusters, it focuses on a rural community in the north of England.Not surprisingly, neither the relationship nor its demise is up for discussion now.I ask her, however, whether her relationships with men have been central to her life. Either way, she adds, she rather likes her own company and never worries, for example, about travelling alone. “When you do you meet all kinds of interesting people.It seems absurd to her now that as a teenager she considered becoming a nun.“I had a meal the other day with the priest who gave me my religious instruction at that time and, of course, we were laughing about it.“Joyce,” she says, “is married to the local magistrate and is very much a pillar of the establishment.She represents the old school of conservatism, whereas another character, Frances, played by Samantha Bond wants to make the WI a much more socialist affair.The pair have been dating for three months after meeting through mutual friends in Dublin where Fiennes had been on stage this summer performing Brian Friel's Faith Healer.True, she could be elsewhere on May 14 – in Cuba on a backpacking holiday, if she has her way – when that deluge of “special” cards emblazoned with terrifying numerals and limp, ageist jokes drops through her letterbox.“It’s not to do with my birthday, because I never really think about age – my own or other people’s. ’ ” Annis has lived life to the full, and plans to continue doing so. “But the trick is not to dwell on the past or in the future.“I might vaguely wonder what decade a person is in because, with each new decade, people go through changes and stuff gets bolted on. With any luck she has inherited not just her French-Brazilian mother, Mariquita’s beautiful cheekbones but her longevity too. I just think about what’s happening right now, that is all I’m really focused on.” Right now, then, we are meeting at the offices of ITV.