Gillian Anderson will play Margaret Thatcher in season four of The Crown, Netflix has announced.

The show’s official Twitter account confirmed the rumours that The X Files star would portray the former prime minister.

The tweet included a picture of Anderson and a message from her which said: I am so excited to be joining the cast and crew of The Crown and to have the opportunity to portray such a complicated and controversial woman.

Thatcher was undoubtedly formidable but I am relishing exploring beneath the surface and, dare I say, falling in love with the icon who, whether loved or despised, defined an era.

Earlier this year it was confirmed Emma Corrin will play Lady Diana Spencer in the fourth series of the drama.

The imminent third series of the big-budget show will see a cast change, as Olivia Colman takes over the role of the Queen from Claire Foy, and Helena Bonham Carter replaces Vanessa Kirby as Princess Margaret.

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Tobias Menzies will take over playing Prince Philip from Matt Smith, while Josh O’Connor will play Prince Charles and Killing Eve writer Emerald Fennell will play Camilla.

Season three, which launches on 17 November, will cover the Queen’s reign from 1964 to 1977.

(c) Sky News 2019: Gillian Anderson to play Margaret Thatcher in The Crown season four