Page last updated at 12:51 GMT, Sunday, 5 July 2009 13:51 UK

Actress Liz Smith, 87, to retire

Liz Smith in the Royle Family
Smith gave an award-winning turn as Nana in The Royle Family

Former Royle Family actress Liz Smith has revealed she is to bow out of acting after suffering a stroke.

The 87-year-old actress who played Nana in the BBC comedy, said although she was getting stronger, she accepted further acting roles were beyond her.

"I do get muddled and sometimes feel I have to reach for words that elude me," she said.

The actress has been recovering since spending two months in hospital earlier this year following the stroke.

"I was getting terribly tired anyway, although I'd like to think I could eventually write again," she said.

'Take it easy'

"I've got stories in my head, but I'm nearly 90, so if I don't do much now at least I've earned a rest."

She added: "I get exhausted and have to take it easy, but I don't know when I'll reach my peak - probably at the end of the year."

Smith is featuring in BBC Four's Grey Expectations series, which aims to challenge preconceptions about what is possible for the over-60s.

Liz Smith's Summer Cruise, which airs on 12 July, sees the star invited to do something she had never done before - embark on a luxury cruise from Croatia to Venice.

The star was made an MBE in the Queen's New Year Honours List for her services to drama.

On going to receive the honour at Buckingham Palace, Smith joked: "I'll be going in a pushchair!"

"I don't know who will be doing the presentation but it will be a good day," she added.

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