Anna Friel strips as blonde bombshell and loves exploring sexy side on Marcella

Anna Friel is loving her new blonde bombshell locks as her character Marcella Backlands undergoes a dramatic hair transformation for undercover role.

The 44-year-old is best known for her role on Channel 4's former soap opera Brookside, which saw the actress make history books after taking centre stage in the first British pre-watershed lesbian kissing scene.

With her popularity and sex appeal rising after the groundbreaking moment, the TV starlet found herself taking on many sexy siren roles, until the ITV thriller Marcella arrived.

In her role as the tomboy crime-fighter Marcella, Anna's clothing is far cry away from what she is used to and certainly not skimpy, usually consisting of baggy knit jumpers, clunky boots and her signature parka jacket.

But, things are now about to shake up as her character prepares to go undercover as sexy blonde Keira who enjoys exploring her sexuality during the third series.

For Anna, the hair colour was a welcomed change and she rather enjoyed ramping up the heat and using her body to get what she wanted on TV programme.

Speaking to The Sun, she confessed: "My favourite thing was being blonde, because it just gave her a whole different feel and swagger.

"I wouldn't say Marcella is an incredibly sexual person and she doesn't sexualise herself — but Keira does.

"Keira uses her wiliness and her body. I don't think Marcella has ever been prepared to do that before. So she explores her sexuality, I think."

Anna explained that posing as Keira gave Marcella the confidence booster that she needed, especially after she'd been left by her husband in the first season.

During a press conference the Manchester-born lass revealed that the outfits from the first two shows had to change but it had to be at the right timing for Marcella who wasn't feeling "particularly attractive" after her marriage broke down.

Speaking about Marcella's mindset at the time, the former soap star said: "She wasn't about to walk into an office having very tight things showing off any cleavage or shape, in a fashion that perhaps men would like.

"But being Keira she realises that's a necessity and starts to enjoy a ­little bit more being in her own body and using that to her own advantage. She sees what a powerful tool that can be."

The eight-part series follows the life of Metropolitan detective Marcella, who leaves behind her world in London as she secretly becomes Keira who takes off to Belfast to join the notorious Maguire family.

Needing to be accepted into the underworld, she uses her body and charm to win over one of the criminals brothers, Finn, played by Aaron McCuster.

As well as changing her tresses, another hurdle to get over was the rough sex scenes with gangster Finn.

Had the pair not have got on like a house on fire, Anna explained that she would have found the violent intimate scenes quite daunting but insisted that they were both so "careful" with one another that "nobody got hurt".

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