Downton Abbey is about to receive another injection of Hollywood magic with the news that movie star Paul Giamatti is to appear in the Christmas special.
Fans of the of the period drama were delighted when Shirley MacLaine joined the show for the most recent series last year, with the A-lister playing Cora’s hard-to-please mother.
Now audiences will watch as Paul, who has appeared in movies including Saving Private Ryan and Planet of the Apes, appears in this year’s festive special as Cora’s playboy brother, Harold.
Gareth Neame, the managing director of programme-maker Carnival Films, said: "We're excited that Paul Giamatti will be joining us on Downton to play Cora's brother Harold, the rather free-spirited uncle to Mary and Edith.
"We can't wait to see him work alongside Shirley Maclaine, who are both sure to upset the Granthams' apple cart in this year's Christmas Day episode."
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