Time to start the countdown to new episodes of Downton. The British soap will add six new characters, The Hollywood Reporter reported Saturday. Among the new additions will Tom Cullen, who will play an old family friend with a history with Lady Mary, Nigel Harman as a visiting valet, Dame Harriet Walter as a friend of the Dowager Countess, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa as a singing houseguest, Joanna David as the Duchess of Yeovil, and Julian Ovenden as the aristocrat Charles Blake. Shirley MacLaine will reprise her role as Lord Grantham’s mother-in-law in the Christmas episode. The news comes as the show has seen some significant reshuffling—especially with Siobhan Finneran confirming last week that she will not be returning next season as evil maid Sarah O’Brien.
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