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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 April, 2005, 11:45 GMT 12:45 UK
Shameless actress cast as monarch
Anne Marie Duff
Anne Marie Duff also starred in the Magdalene Sisters
Actress Anne-Marie Duff, Fiona Gallagher in Channel Four's Shameless, has been chosen to play Elizabeth I in a lavish drama about the Tudor queen.

The drama, a co-production between the BBC and Power Television, will cover the monarch's life from her teens to her death at the age of 70.

Elizabeth I: The Virgin Queen is due to be broadcast in January 2006.

Dame Helen Mirren will also play Elizabeth I in a feature-length Channel Four drama about her later years.

The BBC drama will be directed by Coky Giedroyc, whose previous credits include Blackpool, Women Talking Dirty and Stella Does Tricks.

"This project returns to another of history's most admired figurehead's, giving a whole new generation of viewers a chance to enjoy a fresh interpretation of one of television's favourite monarchs," said executive producer Justin Bodle.

Elizabeth I had a dramatic start to life as the offspring of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, who was executed before her daughter was three years old.

Elizabeth was thrown out of the royal court but was later brought back by her stepmother Katherine Parr, only to find herself locked in the Tower of London in later years.

She eventually became queen in 1558 and was in power when the Spanish Armada was defeated.

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