She has played the Queen and various members of royalty throughout her illustrious career, and now Helen Mirren is set to take on another historical figure in her new role.

Mirren will play Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia and the longest-ruling leader of the country when she ruled between 1762 and 1796, in a new 4-part mini-series.

HBO is teaming with Sky for the production, which is already underway and is set to focus on the latter years of Catherine's reign and specifically her relationship with military leader Grigory Potemkin.

It'll be written by Nigel Martin, the man behind HBO's Elizabeth I - which Mirren also starred in - and directed by Philip Martin, who directed her in Prime Suspect.

She said: "I am very excited by the possibility of embodying a woman from history who grabbed and then wielded great power. She rewrote the rules of governance by a woman, and succeeded to the extent of having the word Great attached to her name, Catherine the Great. I am very grateful to have HBO and Sky as partners in this endeavour. There are no other homes on television that bring the support and understanding needed for this kind of project."

It's set to air in the UK and Ireland on Sky Atlantic next year.