Helen Mirren's portrayal of THE QUEEN has turned the British actress into the hottest Oscar favourite ever. Hours after her name was mentioned among this year's (07) Best Actress nominees, Mirren is the clear favourite to claim gold, according to international odds makers. A spokesman for British bookmakers William Hill says, "Mirren is the hottest favourite at odds of 12-1 on. That is the shortest price we have ever had for the nominations." The actress has already won a string of accolades and prizes for her starring role in The Queen. She recently claimed the Golden Globes Best Actress award for the portrayal. She'll compete for an Oscar with fellow Brits Judi Dench and Kate Winslet, Spaniard Penelope Cruz and Meryl Streep at the Academy Awards next month (25FEB07).