Kim Wilde is set to play Queen Boadicea in Ken Russell's 14 million pound movie after Fergie turned down the part.
The singer was approached two months ago and asked if she would be interested in a supporting role in the film. But I understand producers contacted her again last week after learning the Duchess of York - their amazing frst choice for the lead - had declined.
An insider tells me: "The offer to Fergie was genuine but she politely refused. Ken Russell was very keen to get her on board. He is a controversial character and wants the film to be controversial too. Now that Fergie has turned him down he wants Kim. He feels she has the right qualities to carry it off."
Kim, 33, has no previous acting experience and her only non-singing showbiz experience was a brief stint alongside Chris Evans on The Big Breakfast. The insider adds: "Kim has wanted to break into acting for some time and this would be a perfect start. She is on tour in Sweden for six weeks so cannot meet with Ken until she returns. But she loves his work and is amazed she was asked."
The Boadicea film will feature graphic scenes of nudity, including a sequence where she is flogged by Roman worriors while naked. Co-producer Ken Rowles says: "This is a very serious role and will be largely factual, based on what we know about Boadicea."
Kim is expected to begin filming in September. Oliver Reed, Simon Ward and Peter O'Toole have also been approached to star.