Eight neighbours are believed to have written to the council about her Windsor extension plans, with one taking legal action and another considering it.

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If officials at Windsor and Maidenhead Council agree that the extension falls outside of what was agreed, the actress could face having to tear down the whole thing, which was completed three months ago at a cost of £100,000.

Ms Friel was born in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, and she has been acting since the age of 13, appearing in a number of British television programmes.

She played Beth Jordache in the Channel 4 soap Brookside, which had the first lesbian kiss in a British soap opera in January 1994.

She made her West End theatre début in London in 2001 and has subsequently appeared in several productions, including in an adaptation of Breakfast at Tiffany's and as Yelena in a 2012 production of Chekhov's Uncle Vanya.

The critically acclaimed actress Anna Friel, a 36-year-old mother with the slender frame and glowing complexion of a genetically blessed teenager, last week revealed the rather extreme measures she takes to preserve her youthful looks.

First, there is the “master cleanse”, which involves replacing solid food with numerous cups of a mixture of maple syrup, cayenne pepper, lemon juice and water.For many of us, that sounds like the kind of nasty beverage a cruel older sibling might have tricked us into drinking, once, as a gullible child. “I’ve been drinking it for two months and feel so much better,” Friel told Grazia magazine. If you’re vain, as you get older you start thinking, 'I’ve got to do everything I can to save my skin.’ I’ve tried everything.” To date, she says, she has experimented with the £600 “vampire facial”, in which blood is extracted from her arm and strategically reinjected into wrinkles.And before big events, she has a facial with a rejuvenating Cryoderm machine, whereby the skin is heated up, only for the temperature to be dropped to freezing again.She “felt sick” recently when she discovered a couple of grey hairs.While Ms Friel certainly looks good for her age – or any age – it seems like an awful lot of high anxiety, expense and hard work on top of an already busy career.She is not the only well-known woman whose war against ageing seems gradually to have ratcheted up to epic and wacky proportions.