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Paul Giamatti to join Downton Abbey

Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG award winner Paul Giamatti (John Adams, Sideways, Barney’s Version, Cinderella Man) has joined the cast of the Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning drama, Downton Abbey.

Giamatti will play Cora’s maverick, playboy brother Harold in the Christmas episode and joins new cast members Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Tom Cullen, Julian Ovenden, Nigel Harman, Joanna David and Gary Carr who are all set to star in the fourth series.

As well as filming an eight-part fourth series, Downton Abbey will return at Christmas 2013 with another feature length episode. The new series will see the return of Shirley MacLaine as Martha Levinson alongside series regulars Hugh Bonneville, Maggie Smith, Michelle Dockery and Jim Carter.

Downton creator reveals script struggle

The cast of Downton Abbey with Highclere Castle Credit: Downton Abbey

The creator of Downton Abbey, which was filmed at Highclere Castle near Newbury, has said he found it hard to write Dan Stevens' character out of the series.

After the actor announced he was leaving, Julian Fellowes admitted to The Hollywood Reporter that the only way to write him out was to kill him off.

Executive producer Gareth Neamne said: "We were all agreed that the only way we could break Mary and Matthew apart was for one to die. There really was on alternative."

Fellowes added: "We couldn't have three years of them being in love and suddenly him taking against her and nipping off to Japan. That wasn't a workable scenario."

Stevens' insisted he had no say in the matter and told the Radio Times: "We didn't see that script until the very last minute, so we didn't know exactly how they were going to do it."

Highclere Castle in Berkshire, where Downton Abbey was filmed Credit: PA Wire

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