It was announced Friday by the show's makers — Masterpiece on
British actor Richard E. Grant will join the cast as Simon Bricker, who visits the wavering estate as a guest of the Crawleys. It's a world Grant is quite familiar with, demonstrating his footman skills in 2001's "Gosford Park," which was penned by "Downton Abbey" creator
"I know Julian," Grant said then. "But I was never asked, I've never been up for it. Maybe next series."
Also getting in the upstairs/downstairs mix are
Those behind the show are skimpy on details of the characters. But executive producer Gareth Neame, in a canned statement, offered this vote of confidence: "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."
The fourth season of "Downton Abbey" is currently airing and concludes Feb. 23. Its two-hour season opener brought in 10.2 million viewers.
The new season is set to follow the same hair-pulling rollout schedule: a British launch in the fall, followed by a winter debut in the U.S.