TV chef Lawson inspired Burton's White Queen

Tim Burton based the White Queen from 'Alice in Wonderland' on Nigella Lawson.

The director admits he couldn't stop thinking about the celebrity chef when he was creating the character, played in the new movie by Anne Hathaway.

He revealed: "There's this very beautiful cooking show host in England named Nigella Lawson and I quietly had her as my image for this character."

The director - who previously said that the Red Queen was partly inspired by New York real estate mogul Leona Helmsley - used Nigella for ideas because her domestic goddess routine has an eerie edge to it at times.

He explained to the Los Angeles Times: "She's really beautiful and she does all this cooking, but then there's this glint in her eye and when you see it you go, 'Oh, whoa, she's like really...nuts.' I mean in a good way. Well, maybe. I don't know."

The film, which also stars Johnny Depp as The Mad Hatter and Helena Bonham-Carter as The Red Queen, is an adaptation of the original novel by Lewis Carroll and sees Alice - played by newcomer Mia Wasikowska - as a teenager returning to the fantasy land after years in the normal world.

'Alice in Wonderland' is in cinemas worldwide from early March.

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