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Tuesday, 15 January, 2002, 12:45 GMT
Edna to be regular Ally McBeal star
Dame Edna's role will be seen in the UK from March
Dame Edna's role will be seen in the UK from March
Dame Edna Everage has been recruited by TV comedy Ally McBeal to become a regular guest star after making two appearances on the show.

The colourful star, known for her extravagant spectacles and racy innuendos, has already been seen on the show in the United States playing an "overtly eccentric older woman with purple hair".

Robert Downey Jr recently starred with Calista Flockhart
Robert Downey Jr recently starred with Calista Flockhart
Dame Edna is herself played by Australian comedian Barry Humphries.

She will not appear in every episode, but will be a "recurring" guest star, according to Channel 4, the show's UK broadcaster.

The recruitment is likely to be seen as the latest attempt to win viewers after a ratings slump that may threaten the programme's future.

Viewers in the US have also recently seen rock star Jon Bon Jovi introduced as Ally's new love interest after Robert Downey Jr left the cast.

Dame Edna starred in two episodes of the current fifth series as Claire Otoms, a woman who tries to bring a flimsy phone solicitation case that gets thrown out of court, according to the show's website.

Barry Humphries first unleashed Edna in 1970
Barry Humphries first unleashed Edna in 1970
It is thought to be the first time Dame Edna - rather than Humphries - has played a role in another show.

Dame Edna has had a string of her own TV series, and Humphries has also starred in a number of films including Spice World.

Edna Everage first appeared in the 1970 film The Naked Bunyip, and became Aunt Edna then Dame Edna later that decade.

Ally McBeal, a Boston-set legal comedy, is in its fifth series but has recently been struggling to keep young viewers, the most important group for advertisers.

The episodes starring Dame Edna will be broadcast in the UK in March.

The show has previously seen guest spots from stars including Mariah Carey, Sir Elton John, Barry White and Sting.

See also:

17 Sep 01 | TV and Radio
Ally McBeal spot for Sir Elton
22 Oct 01 | Entertainment
Carey 'to star' in Ally McBeal
24 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Heche 'to join Ally McBeal'
08 Oct 99 | Entertainment
Dame Edna's a Broadway baby
04 Feb 99 | Entertainment
Republican Edna no longer a Dame
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