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Anna Chancellor's amorous aristocrat to guest star in Downton Abbey

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: August 15, 2014

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Actress Anna Chancellor will play an amorous aristocrat plotting to get her clutches on a former servant when she makes her guest appearance in the new series of ITV's hit drama Downton Abbey.

The Four Weddings And A Funeral star plays Lady Anstruther.

The character is a widowed acquaintance of the Crawley family.

She drops in for tea and ends up staying the night at the house after claiming to have car trouble.

But the problems with her car turn out to be a smoke-screen so she can spend the night with Jimmy Kent (Ed Speleers), her former footman whom she is unable to keep her hands off.

He is unable to turn her down, despite being embarrassed by her attentions.

Executive producer Liz Trubridge said they were very lucky to have their guest cast this series

She said: "We are very lucky on the show that we can attract incredible actors to come and play guest roles.

"Julian (Fellowes, the show's creator) has a great skill in the economy of writing, in writing very satisfying stories in very short spaces of time."

Other guest stars this series include Richard E. Grant, who plays art historian Simon Bricker, and Sue Johnston. who plays Gladys Denker.

The regular cast also includes some new faces, with child actors Oliver and Zac Barker jointly taking on the role of Master George Crawley and Fifi Hart as the late Lady Sybil's daughter Miss Sybil Branson.

Allen Leech, who plays Sybil's dad Tom Branson, said his new young stars had a variety of nicknames for him. He said: "I became known as the whisperer, the dragon man and fire starter.

"If they were really good in takes, to entertain them we'd go in search of the dragons, because there are lots of dragon effigies around the grounds."

He added: "All of the fires we have on set are controlled by our special effects team so they would make them very high and very low, and I would pretend to control them with my hand. So basically, I turned them into fantasy-loving pyromaniacs."

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