Unlikely duo Dame Helen Mirren and Damien Lewis team up to record album for Queen’s 95th birthday

Unlikely duo Dame Helen Mirren and Damien Lewis team up to record album for Queen’s 95th birthday

THINGS are looking pretty rubbish for the Queen right now but I have some news that will cheer her up – sort of.

I can reveal the unlikely duo of Dame Helen Mirren, who once played the monarch in a film, and Damian Lewis are teaming up for an album to celebrate Her Majesty’s 95th birthday next month.


The actors are making the record with composer Debbie Wiseman and Decca Records, and it will be called The Music Of Kings & Queens.

An industry insider said: “Helen and Damian are quite good pals and have a mutual love and respect for the Queen.

“They felt it was a very significant birthday and achievement for her to reach 95, so they wanted to do it in a special way. It’s come at a good time and they are hoping it will bring a smile to her face.”

It’s not the first time the pair have celebrated their love of the head of state, as Helen and Damian both appeared for her 90th birthday celebration at Windsor Castle.

Helen won an Oscar for her performance as Elizabeth II in 2006 film The Queen, and three years earlier Prince Charles made her a dame during a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

She did eventually meet Her Majesty in 2014 and five years later was invited to an intimate tea, where she had a “lesson in embarrassment” because she forgot how to address Prince Philip.

Damian also has blue blood connections. He played Henry VIII in BBC drama Wolf Hall and his ancestor is The 1st Viscount Dawson of Penn, who was a doctor to the Royal Family in the early 20th Century.

As for musical talent, Band Of Brothers star Damian was seen playing the guitar and singing with wife Helen McCrory at a pal’s wedding last year.

Helen, meanwhile, claims to have none. She has said of her brief stint playing the piano: “It was a disaster. It must have been heartbreaking for my poor father to realise that his only daughter had no musical talent.”

If, at 95, The Queen is hard of hearing, that won’t be such a bad thing.

Gaga's Dot the look

ONE is a chain-smoking launderette worker who spent more than 30 years living in Albert Square.

The other is an Oscar-winning superstar who has sold more than 120million records.

But while EastEnders’ Dot Cotton and Lady Gaga might be worlds apart, it turns out their fashion choices are quite similar.

Gaga sported a trademark Dot headscarf and brown trench coat as she got into character on the set of her new film House Of Gucci – about the murder of fashion magnate Maurizio Gucci that was organised by his ex-wife Patrizia Reggiani.

The Bad Romance singer became unlikely pals with EastEnders legend June Brown after appearing on a talk show with her in 2013, above.

I’m sure June will be glowing with pride to see Gaga revive one of her cult looks. Pass the pop star a 20-pack of Berkeley’s and it would be hard to tell the difference between them.


Danny: Sex is tricky

DANNY Dyer has admitted he and his wife Joanne Mas struggled to have sex at home in lockdown – because his young kids Arty and Sunnie were always around.

Referring to teenager Sunnie, Danny said on his Spotify podcast: “She keeps on catching us tonguing.

“We’re trying to nick a moment because we’ve got kids up our a*** f***ing constantly. It’s hard to have a roll about.”

Gem’s panic room

GEMMA Collins has installed panic rooms at her new £1.35million home.

On The Gemma Collins Podcast, she said: “I’ve had security put in and the work that goes into it, it’s been like a scene from The Bodyguard.”

Aston flies at Drake

CHITTY Chitty Bang Bang made a real racket – but JLS are making an even bigger noise over their own flying car.

After I announced the four piece’s comeback in this column on Tuesday, the band started an unlikely feud with superstar rapper Drake, all because of a levitating vehicle.

Drake thrilled fans during his 2019 Assassination Vacation tour by having a replica of his £2.5million Ferrari sail above the crowds.

It came nine years after JLS pulled the same stunt, albeit with a more reasonably priced convertible, on their debut arena tour.

When Marvin Humes referenced the similarities in a celebratory Instagram Live, Aston Merrygold replied: “Oh, you like that, yeah? Drake did it after JLS, yeah?

“Send that to Drake, let him know. I don’t care. Drake knows. Drake loves JLS. Quote that.”


South Facing revival

SUPERGRASS and The Streets are among the first acts confirmed for the new South Facing Festival at the Crystal Palace Bowl in South London.

The venue, which has hosted Bob Marley and Elton John, is being revived for the month-long event in August, with Dizzee Rascal and the English National Opera among other acts who will be appearing.

Consider it done, Aston.

But any fans hoping to see the car stunt recreated on JLS’s upcoming reunion tour in October, which will coincide with the release of their first album since 2012’s Evolution, will need to cough up.

Aston said it won’t be happening “unless you’re buying the car”.
Time to start saving.

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