The Absolutely Fabulous star is a staunch human and animal rights activist, and lends her name to several campaigns, including tiger conservation and voting reform in the U.K.
Her greatest success came in 2009 when she hounded immigration ministers to allow 36,000 Nepalese soldiers and their families the right to live in the U.K – and won.
Now the actress is ready to “crack a few whips” to convince British officials to plough money into services to help pay for childcare and care of the elderly.
She tells Britain’s Woman & Home magazine, “For you mothers, we need to offer real, responsible childcare. There’s too much emphasis now on getting back to work as soon as possible.
“At the other end of life, women often end up as the carers for elderly relatives, and I’d like to crack a few whips in order to better help them too. We should give proper status to what they do and put in place facilities to give them a break.”