Dench to appear in five-part BBC drama
The Oscar-winning actress will play Miss Matty Jenkyns in Cranford Chronicles - a nineteenth century drama exploring life in a rural town in Cheshire.
Dench said that she was "so excited" to be appearing in the series, and that it would give her "a summer of fun to look forward to".
Dench's character is described as a woman "whose hopes and lively spirit were crushed when she was forced as a young woman to give up the man she loved".
Written by Heidi Thomas, the author of BBC One's Lilies, the show begins filming in April.