As Season 4 of the wildly popular historic drama Downton Abbey approaches its conclusion, USA Today reports that new faces will be joining the cast when the series returns for its fifth season next year.
Carnival Films and Masterpiece on PBS today announced that Richard E. Grant (Girls, Gosford Park, Doctor Who) has signed on to portray Simon Bricker, who visits Downton Abbey as a guest of the Granthams.
In addition, Anna Chancellor (The Hour, Four Weddings and a Funeral) will appear in a guest starring role as Lady Anstruther. Finally, Rade Sherbedgia (Eyes Wide Shut, 24) will portray a Russian refugee on the newest season.
It was also announced that Season 4 guest star Dame Harriet Walter will reprise her role as Lady Shackleton, along with Peter Egan, returning as Lord Flintshire.
"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," says executive producer Gareth Neame, managing director of Carnival Films, in a release.
Filming on the fifth season of the award-winning drama is scheduled to begin this month. In addition to the new cast members, the season will set the return of beloved 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.