It’s that time of year when most members of the Downton Abbey Separation Anxiety Society are desperate for any sliver of information that might come from the set during filming of the forthcoming series.
Not wanting to disappoint, brilliant news came from series producers yesterday as they announced that Royle Family, Waking the Dead and Coronation Street star, Sue Johnston, will play Denker, a lady’s maid to Dame Maggie Smith’s character, the Dowager Countess of Grantham. Recognizing the monumental task at hand of having to stand up to the Downton matriarch, series producers said that Johnston will definitely play a character robust enough to live up to the Countess’ exacting standards while understanding her hidden depths.
Johnston said: “I’m delighted and very excited to be a part of Downton Abbey, I have some lovely friends in it that I’ll be so happy to be working with and I cannot wait to start filming.”
Having already added 24 star Rade Sherbedgia as a Russian refugee who has fled the revolution after World War 1 and Richard E Grant and Anna Chancellor, both of whom will play guests of the Granthams at Downton, the mega-hit ITV period drama is definitely not sitting on their awards for the upcoming series. Returning for series 5, currently in production, will be Dame Harriet Walter, reprising her role as Lady Shackleton, the Dowager Countess’s friend, and Peter Egan, who will return as Lord Flintshire.
Downton Abbey 5 returns this Autumn on ITV in the UK and, at this point, Sunday, January 4, 2015 on PBS in America (unless series creator/writer Julian Fellowes can convince otherwise).