BBC to make Anna Nicole – The Opera

Anna Nicole Smith’s life story will be told as an opera to be shown on BBC Four.

Anna Nicole – The Opera tells the story of the American glamour girl who married a billionaire more than 60 years her senior before dying of an overdose aged 39.

She was working as a topless dancer when she was chosen as a Playboy model and went on to be hailed as ‘the next Marilyn Monroe’.

But she kept working in clubs and it was in one of them that she met 89-year-old billionaire oil mogul J Howard Marshall, whom she married.

With a 63-year age gap, there were accusations she was a money-grabber, but she reportedly told her critics: “I’m sick of being accused of gold-digging. It just so happens I get turned on by liver spots.”

Marshall died 14 months after their wedding and from then on Anna Nicole was rarely out of the news until her 2007 death.

Her lawyer boyfriend and two doctors are on trial in America charged with conspiring to provide her with massive doses of drugs, which they deny.

They are not accused of causing her death.

Olivier award-winning composer Mark Anthony Turnage is the man behind the opera, which will be shown on the high-brow BBC arts channel, with a Dutch soprano in the title role.