DAME Helen Mirren will allegedly be stripping off at the age of 58 when she portrays QUEEN ELIZABETH I in a steamy British TV drama.

The British actress, who bared all in last year's (03) Calendar Girls, will portray the VIRGIN QUEEN in middle-age as she embarked on a passionate affair with her advisor the EARL OF ESSEX - in TV film ELIZABETH AND ESSEX to be screened next year (05).

Mirren says of disrobing on-screen, "Nudity is so easy. In essence it's like drinking a glass of orange juice on the set."

The film's writer NIGEL WILLIAMS comments, "Elizabeth is the classic older woman and I'm having a lot of fun with it."

British ITV drama boss NICK ELLIOTT adds, "It's a fantastic love story which ends with the man being beheaded - it doesn't get more exciting."

23/07/2004 13:23