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.
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."
An antique desk that graced the halls of the real-life Downton Abbey could fetch around £100,000 when it sells at auction this week.Read the full story ›
Highclere Castle is best known as the set of hit period drama Downton Abbey.Read the full story ›
Highclere Castle - as it's really known - is home to Lord and Lady Carnarvon. They've allowed us special access to the house to reveal the real Downton Abbey at Christmas. Fred and Sangeeta link to Stacey Poole.
VIDEO: Downton Abbey star MyAnna Burlng - who plays headstrong maid Edna - has been filming a new psychological thriller in the South. The Poison Tree is set on the haunting shingle beach of Dungeness in Kent. Sarah Saunders has been finding out more.
Downton Abbey returns to ITV1 in 2013 for a fourth series of the Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning drama - filmed at Highclere Castle.Read the full story ›
In spite of its recession setting Downton Abbey has been taking on new footmen - Ed Speleers from Chichester and Matt Milne.Read the full story ›
The Crawley sisters in Downton Abbey have provided plenty of drama so far. Fred Dinenage met them as they filmed for the new series.Read the full story ›