The films showcase the lives of extraordinary women and include an examination of the life of celebrated ballerina Margot Fonteyn.

Bonham Carter, so often seen playing classic literary characters, stars alongside Matthew Macfadyen in the story behind the Famous Five and Secret Seven creator, who sold more than 500 million books in 40 countries.

The film examines how Blyton’s personal life sometimes compromised her position as the nation’s moral guardian.

Horrocks has already showcased her singing talents in the movie Little Voice and will soon be seen turning her attention to the repertoire of music hall and film star Fields’s classics. Rochdale-born Fields, best known for songs such as Sally, Sing As We Go and I Never Cried So Much In All My Life, became a national heroine as she rallied spirits during the war years.

Anne-Marie Duff, who played Elizabeth I in the BBC’s The Virgin Queen, takes on the role of Fonteyn in a film which explores her professional and personal relationship with Russian dancer Rudolf Nureyev.

Each of the biopics looks at the way in which the women’s art reflects their private lives.

The life of Winnie Mandela is also examined, with Oscar nominee Sophie Okonedo playing the former wife of Nelson Mandela, from country girl to revolutionary firebrand. Red Riding star David Morrissey will play police interrogator Theunis Swanepoel.

BBC4 controller Richard Klein said: “BBC4 is curious about arts and culture’s contribution to, and place in, society.

“We’re exploring this through a unique range of programmes.”