Sheridan Smith will play the long-suffering wife of train robber Ronnie Biggs in a five-part TV drama based on her life.
The actress, who starred in the West End in Legally Blonde - The Musical, will play Charmian Biggs alongside Ashes To Ashes star Daniel Mays playing the fugitive thief.
Charmian, who fled to Australia with Biggs when he escaped from jail in 1965, is working with the programme makers on the show which is called Mrs Biggs.
Sheridan said: "When I received the call to say that I'd got this job I burst into tears. Charmian is an incredible woman, and I'm so lucky that she'll be on hand to support me and give me advice during the shoot. I hope that I can do her story justice."
The show will tell Charmian's story from the moment she met Biggs, a small-time south London villain, through the 1963 Great Train Robbery which netted the gang millions of pounds in used banknotes, to her life in Australia after Biggs left his family and fled to Brazil with the police on his trail.
Charmian said: "If my story were to be dramatised I wanted it to be done as accurately as possible. It seemed to me this was an opportunity to convey the rollercoaster of emotions involved, rather than just the bare facts."