EXCLUSIVE: Legends of the Fall and Temple Grandin star Julia Ormond is to star in BBC One drama Gold Digger.

The lead role is Ormond’s first in a British television series, having recently starred in Howards End and having started her career starring in shows such as Traffik and The Ruth Rendell Mysteries.

In the six-part drama, which was written and created by Marnie Dickens (Thirteen), Ormond will play Julia Day, a mother and a wife who has spent her whole life putting the needs of others before herself. It tells the story of how, as a 60-year old woman, she falls in love with Benjamin, a man 25 years her junior. It looks at how their unconventional relationship impacts her family as the secrets of their past are revealed and investigates whether Benjamin is really the gold digger that they think he is.

The series is produced by ITV-owned Mainstreet Pictures. Tim Bradley (Unforgotten) will produce and Vanessa Caswill (Little Women) will direct the first three episodes. It is exec produced by Mainstreet’s Laura Mackie and Sally Haynes for Mainstreet Pictures, Elizabeth Kilgarriff for BBC One and Dickens.

Ormond said she was “extraordinarily grateful” to be cast in this “fabulously written piece exploring family dynamics”.

Dickens said, “I’m thrilled to have the hugely talented Julia Ormond bringing our heroine to life. I couldn’t be happier to be working with the BBC and Mainstreet on a drama that puts an older woman unequivocally at the heart of the action.”

BBC Drama Controller Piers Wenger added, “I’m delighted Julia Ormond will be starring in Gold Digger and at the centre of Marnie’s explosive new series for BBC One. I can’t wait to see her take on this complex and fascinating character.”

Ormond, who won an Emmy for her role in the HBO miniseries and also starred in Sabrina and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, is repped by Gersh and Chris PraphaCreative Partners Group.