Carnival Films and MASTERPIECE on PBS have announced new cast members who will be joining Downton Abbey Season 5.
Richard E. Grant (no stranger to this type of period drama, having starred in the film Gosford Park, also written by Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes), will join the cast as Simon Bricker, who visits Downton Abbey as a guest of the Granthams.
Anna Chancellor (The Hour, Four Weddings and a Funeral) will join in a guest role, playing Lady Anstruther. Rade Sherbedgia (24) will play a Russian refugee.
The announcement also said that returning guest cast member Dame Harriet Walter will reprise her role as Lady Shackleton, along with Peter Egan, returning as Lord Flintshire.
MASTERPIECE executive producer Rebecca Eaton said in the release, “We look forward to introducing these new characters to our MASTERPIECE audience. They will make a wonderful addition to the beloved Downton Abbey ensemble.”
Also in the release, Downton Abbey’s executive producer Gareth Neame, the managing director of Carnival Films, said, “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.”
Along with the new characters, Downton Abbey Season 5 will feature returning stars Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Elizabeth McGovern, Jim Carter, Penelope Wilton, Phyllis Logan, Samantha Bond, Laura Carmichael, Lily James, Allen Leech, Brendan Coyle, Joanne Froggatt, Lesley Nicol, Sophie McShera, Rob James-Collier, Ed Speleers, Kevin Doyle, Raquel Cassidy, David Robb, Tom Cullen, Julian Ovenden, Daisy Lewis, Douglas Reith, Jeremy Swift and Andrew Scarborough.
Season 4 of Downton Abbey continues its U.S. run on PBS Sundays at 9pm ET, through Feb. 23. Downton Abbey Season 5 will debut in the U.S. next year.
Highclere Castle, used as the setting for Downton Abbey: Courtesy of Lord and Lady Carnarvon