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A TOFF ROLE FOR HAVERS; He joins Downton Abbey.. as a Lord, surprisingly.


SMOOTHIE Nigel Havers will be lording it up in ITV's smash hit period drama Downton Abbey.

Charmer Nigel, 59, will appear as aristocrat Lord Hepworth when the show returns this Christmas.

Bosses have also signed up Mistresses and The Inspector Lynley Mysteries star Sharon Small, 44, for a major role.

A show insider said: "Nigel and Sharon will be the perfect additions to this year's Downton. They are incredibly talented actors and are already hugely popular with our audience.

"After the success of last year's series bosses are determined to keep up the momentum by introducing high profile stars to keep viewers excited.

"There's massive anticipation ahead of the second series and bringing in well known faces like Nigel will help the show come back with a bang."

ITV executives are believed to be delighted by the double signing, which they hope could help them beat the huge ratings of 11 million reached at the end of the first series.

The capture of Nigel is the biggest coup. He wooed audiences as charming but devious male escort Lewis Archer in Coronation Street last year.

And the Chariots of Fire star then had his army of female fans hot under the collar during his surprise appearance in the Australian jungle as a contestant on I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! on ITV.

Fellow Downton Abbey recruit Sharon will appear as Marigold Shore, who is the housemaid of Lady Rosamond, played by Samantha Bond.

A show spokesman said: "We're very excited that Nigel Havers and Sharon Small will be joining the cast later this year. They are looking forward to getting started on set."

Co-starring Hugh Bonneville and Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey has become the most successful British period drama since Brideshead Revisited in 1981.


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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 21, 2011
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