Dame Helen Mirren gave her two stepsons a "shock" when she took them to a drag show as kids.

Dame Helen Mirren

Dame Helen Mirren

The 74-year-old actress wanted to show her husband Taylor Hackford's boys Rio, now 49, and Alexander, 40 - his children from two previous relationships - what the "real" London is like, so they went to the Vauxhall Tavern's drag night for an authentic experience in the British capital.

Appearing on 'The Graham Norton Show' on Friday night (27.09.19), Helen recalled: "There's a real historic tradition of drag in London and I was growing up and first came to London on a Friday night there was often a drag show. There is a very famous drag pub - the Vauxhall Tavern - and when I first got together with my husband he had two young sons.

"I thought it would show these two young Californian boys something of the real London, so I took them to the Vauxhall Tavern. "These poor kids were slightly in shock but they certainly remember it as being very cool. It was cool, and I love my London."

The 'Winchester' star - who first met director Taylor on the set of 1985's 'White Nights' and married him in 1997 - was appearing on the show with drag legend RuPaul, who is launching his show 'RuPaul's Drag Race' in the UK.

He said: "England has a long history of queens and I thought everyone would be quite acidic like Danny La Rue, but because the US show had such a global awareness, the UK has taken on the same feel.

"It is definitely English, but the two shows are more similar than they are different."

The 58-year-old model also gave Mirren the drag queen name of 'Sir Lady Cheek Bones' and fellow guest Jack Whitehall, 'Jackie Black Ball'.

He said: "I have named several queens over the years."

'The Graham Norton Show' airs on BBC One on Friday September 27 from 10.35pm.