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28 September 2002: Daily Mail

Diana's Golden Girl

Every lustrous inch is dripping with gold.

But make no mistake, this young lady is as bold as brass.

Posing in nothing but a slick of glittering body paint, actress Rachael Stirling said she felt surprisingly confident.

Then again, she is the daughter of Dame Diana Rigg, who this week was voted the sexiest TV actress of all time for her classic role as Emma Peel in The Avengers.

Miss Stirling, who stars in BBC2's new drama Tipping the Velvet, was just as smouldering in her golden girl pose.

She even looked a little like her mother's Sixties contemporary Shirley Eaton who played the ill-fated Jill Masterson in the 1964 Bond movie Goldfinger.

Miss Stirling, 24, had to get used to peeling off her clothes for the sexually explicit period drama.

She told how standing behind a curtain ready for her golden scene was her most memorable moment.

'None of the film crew had even seen me in this state before the scene,' she said.

'But I found it strangely liberating.

'First you don't feel totally naked because the gold paint is like a second skin.

'And second, I'm never going to do this again in my life - ever.'

Her confidence teetered a little however, when her father, Scottish landowner Archie Stirling watched some of the scenes.

'I had to scream: "Eyes on sandals" at him when we were watching a scene with breasts everywhere,' she confessed.

'That's what he used to say to me when I was watching a snogging scene on, say, Dynasty, which he didn't think was suitable.'

However, Tipping the Velvet is certain to provoke controversy when it is screened.

It is a three-part series based on a 1998 novel about lesbian culture in Victorian England.

It was adapted by Andrew Davies, best- known for his screenplay of Pride and Miss Stirling's character Nan Astley becomes a sexual underling to a rich sado-masochistic woman, played by Anna Chancellor, best known as Duckface from Four Weddings and a Funeral.

The show also stars Keeley Hawes, seen most recently on BBC1's Spooks.

Campaigners for tighter obscenity laws have already condemned the pounds 1million series as inappropriate viewing for BBC2.

The programme is due to be broadcast next month.


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