Richard E Grant joins the cast of 'Downton Abbey'

Downton-Abbey-CastITV has announced that Richard E Grant and Anna Chancellor are to join the cast of their global hit Downton Abbey. Richard E Grant, who recently made a cameo in hit US show Girls, will play Simon Bricker, a character that visits Downton Abbey as a guest of the Granthams. Meanwhile, Four Weddings and a Funeral favourite Anna Chancellor will play a character called Lady Anstruther. In addition, Dame Harriet Walter is to return as Lady Shackleton, a character she originated in the last series of the period soap. "We are delighted to welcome these talented actors to the world of Downton. The characters they play are set to bring yet more excitement and intrigue to the show", said Downton's executive producer Gareth Neame. Series five of Downton Abbey began filming earlier this month (February) and will air on ITV later this year as eight regular episodes plus a Christmas special.