Denise Welch is playing Queen Elizabeth in Diana The Musical

Denise Welch has been cast as the Queen credit:Bang Showbiz
Denise Welch has been cast as the Queen credit:Bang Showbiz

Denise Welch has been cast as Queen Elizabeth in 'Diana: The Musical'.

The 'Loose Women' presenter will portray the late royal for one night only at the Eventim Apollo when the new show - which will see Kerry Ellis playing a newly-divorced Princess Diana - comes to London on December 4.

The production is set in 1996 and will see Diana looking back on her past and reflecting on her 19-year-old self, who will be played by Maiya Quansah-Breed.

Kerry has starred as Elphaba - the Wicked Witch of the West - in 'Wicked', while Maiya was nominated for an Olivier for her role as Catherine Parr in 'Six'.

Bon Jovi star David Bryan will lead the music - which is inspired by the 1980s - while 'Memphis' writer Joe DiPietro has penned the lyrics.

Denise is no stranger to the stage, having got her first big break four decades ago when she appeared in 'Yakety Yak'.

In 1984, she played Sandy in 'Grease' at the Haymarket Theatre, going onto tread the boards in plays like 'There's a Girl in My Soup', 'Bedroom Farce' and 'Shooting the Legend'.

In the 2000s and 2010s she turned her attention to pantomime in the likes of 'Jack and the Beanstalk', 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs' and 'Cinderalla', as well as playing Mrs Otter in the London Palladium production of 'The Wind in the Willows' eight years ago.

The 65-year-old star's most recent theatre performance came as part of the 'Calendar Girls' UK tour in 2018.

Denise recently revealed she will be away from 'Loose Women' as she prepares for a "little adventure" with her husband Lincoln Townley amid reports she has signed up for the new series of 'Celebrity Hunted'.

Last month, she said in an Instagram video: "I’m going off on a little adventure for a couple of weeks so I’m going to be off here and off my phone.

"I don’t quite know how I’m going to cope, but I’m going to give it a try, so don’t think I have disappeared.

"It’s just a temporary little holiday and I’ll be back soon, so lots and lots of love."