Page last updated at 10:52 GMT, Wednesday, 9 April 2008 11:52 UK

Duncan to take on Iron Lady role

Lindsay Duncan
Duncan played a disgruntled former agent in Spooks

Actress Lindsay Duncan is to play Margaret Thatcher in a BBC Two drama about the former Prime Minister.

The 57-year-old, whose credits include GBH, Spooks and Stephen Poliakoff drama Shooting The Past, will begin filming Margaret in the summer.

The play focuses on 1990, the turbulent final year of Thatcher's premiership, which culminated in her resignation.

The same production team is making a comic drama about the young Mrs Thatcher for BBC Four.

'Darker examination'

Robert Cooper, co-founder Great Meadow Productions, says Margaret is a "darker examination" of the Iron Lady's final stretch as Prime Minister.

"It is a compelling look into what 11 years in power did to her," he said.

Margaret Thatcher leaves Downing Street
Margaret Thatcher left Downing Street in November 1990

The drama about the politician's early days, called Margaret Thatcher - The Long Walk To Finchley, shows her character traits in a comedic light.

"Love her or loathe her, we all live in Margaret Thatcher's Britain. Yet, despite her 11 years at the top, very few of us really know the woman who so utterly changed our lives," added Mr Cooper.

Kate Triggs, also a director of Great Meadows Productions, said: "We are excited that Lindsay Duncan is keen to bring her extraordinary talent to this major role."

Other actresses to have recently portrayed Baroness Thatcher during her years in power include Patricia Hodge and Sylvia Sims - who also played the Queen Mother in Oscar-winning film The Queen.

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