X-Files' star Gillian Anderson has admitted that she is "falling in love" with the "complicated and controversial" character of Margaret Thatcher she's playing in The Crown.

It's long been rumoured that Anderson would play the former prime minister in the Netflix period drama about the current UK monarch.

It has now been confirmed that she will join the cast for the fourth season of the show, which is currently in production.

Anderson said in a statement: "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.

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"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 despise, defined an era."

It has previously been confirmed that Emma Corrin will also join the cast for the fourth run, to play Diana Spencer.

The upcoming run of the big-budget show will see several cast changes, as Olivia Colman takes over the role of the Queen from Claire Foy, and Helena Bonham Carter replaces Vanessa Kirby as Princess Margaret.

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 Shand.