Mirren recalls Parkinson interview

This Is Lancashire: Dame Helen Mirren's interview on Parkinson 40 years ago has stayed with her Dame Helen Mirren's interview on Parkinson 40 years ago has stayed with her

Dame Helen Mirren has still not forgotten Michael Parkinson's line of questioning when he interviewed her on his chat show almost 40 years ago.

The host began the interview asking about nudity and whether her "equipment" or "physical attributes" hindered her pursuit of being a serious actress.

Dame Helen, who was 30 when she appeared on his show, told the Radio Times: "I'm sure many people have seen the interview with Michael Parkinson, but that's a classic example of the prevalent attitude at that time."

The Oscar-winning actress, who has previously called the encounter "enraging", added: "There was a prurient sort of thing going on."

Dame Helen is about to return to the role of the Queen, this time in the play The Audience, which will show the monarch in her regular sessions with a series of prime ministers.

The star said that she could not help but read her reviews.

"It's so, so painful and the pain stays forever with the bad reviews, absolutely forever. You're angry and resentful and upset and disheartened.

"The good ones are equally dangerous, because you can't often identify with what the hell they're talking about. I often find myself thinking, 'I didn't mean to be doing that.' So they're dangerous in both ways," she said.

She added that she had already noticed, before she was offered the lead role in 2006 film The Queen, that whenever she put a dark wig on she "looked quite like Princess Margaret".

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