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Last Updated: Monday, 3 November, 2003, 17:07 GMT
Actress Mirren 'happy childless'
Dame Helen Mirren
Dame Helen Mirren said she lacks the desire for children
Many women are "pressured" into becoming mothers and are miserable as a result, Dame Helen Mirren has said.

The British actress, 57, told the UK's Radio Times: "I didn't have that desire to be a mother, and don't think an awful lot of women do."

Nevertheless most mothers develop "that natural love/hate bond" with their children, she said.

Dame Helen added: "I'm very proud of being childless. It's my contribution to world ecology."

She enjoyed co-starring with Julie Walters in British film Calendar Girls, which has become an international success.

"Women rarely get to work with others who are on the same professional level," Dame Helen said.

"Men do, because films have 10 males to every female. Sometimes I watch TV with two pieces of paper and mark off the number of females and males - the male page is soon full."


The star is returning to play Jane Tennison in the ITV1 series Prime Suspect, having become a dame in the interim.

After expressing anti-monarchist views in the past, Dame Helen said she found a new respect for the Royal Family.

"Imagine what it would be like to live in Argentina when the colonels took over and your neighbour disappears - along with 400,000 others.

"Maybe this absurd royal family with their corgis, palaces, problems - and their loyalty and love of Britain - is protecting us from that."

Calendar Girls gets northern premiere
03 Sep 03  |  North Yorkshire
Helen Mirren: In her prime
13 Jun 03  |  Entertainment

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