Gillian Anderson isn’t the first actress to portray Margaret Thatcher on the screen. Here are just some of those who have taken up the pearls, twinset and handbag:

Meryl Streep

The most notable take on Margaret Thatcher came, perhaps inevitably, from Meryl Streep in Phyllida Lloyd’s 2011 film The Iron Lady. Streep picked up an Oscar and almost universal praise for her performance of Thatcher in both her political prime and as an older woman suffering from dementia. The film itself wasn’t quite so lauded, annoying critics on all sides of the political divide. As the late critic Roger Ebert said of Thatcher, "Few people were neutral in their feelings about her, except the makers of this picture."

Janet Brown

The Scottish actress and comedian Janet Brown (born in Rutherglen) was the most famous impersonator of Margaret Thatcher during her years in power. Brown regularly imitated the Prime Minister on TV comedy shows such as Who Do You Do and BBC1’s Mike Yarwood in Persons. Brown even called her memoir Prime Mimicker. Her impersonation of Mrs Thatcher was always on the kind side. “I was prepared to send her up, but not maliciously,” Brown once said. Perhaps not surprising given that Brown was herself a Conservative and was often invited to functions at No 10. In 1981 Brown played the Prime Minister in the James Bond film For Your Eyes Only.

Lindsay Duncan

Edinburgh-born Lindsay Duncan took the role of Margaret Thatcher in her last days in office in the BBC drama Margaret in 2009, despite being politically opposed to the woman she played. “It was about playing a part and making it believable,” she told the Guardian.

Andrea Riseborough

A year earlier Riseborough played the young Margaret Thatcher in another BBC drama, Margaret Thatcher: The Long Walk to Finchley, which covered the would-be politician’s fight to be nominated for a parliamentary seat.

In real life Riseborough may also not have seen eye to eye with the woman she played. “Her connection with humanity was a very loose thread,” Riseborough said of Thatcher at the time. “Emotionally, she was not in touch with herself or anybody else. As well as being such an intelligent woman, I would say she had psychopathic tendencies.”

Jennifer Saunders

Perhaps the most beguiling screen version of Margaret Thatcher came in The Comic Strip film The Hunt for Tony Blair in 2011, in which Jennifer Saunders, dressed as Bette Davis in the film Baby Jane, played Thatcher as if she was Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard.