Richard E. Grant is joining Downton Abbey

Richard E. Grant is joining Downton Abbey

As part of its continuing mission to cycle through the entire pantheon of working British actors, Downton Abbey has announced that Richard E. Grant will join the cast in season five. According to Deadline, Grant—who previously worked with Downton creator Julian Fellowes on Gosford Park— will play Simon Bricker, a friend of the Granthams who comes to stay at Downton. His presence will likely elicit some kind of witty quip from the Dowager Countess, all while Lady Mary looks on in a pained sort of way and Edith wonders if this will finally be the man to make her happy (unlikely).

Anna Chancellor (Four Weddings And A Funeral) can also be crossed off the list of British actors who have yet to appear on the show; she’ll guest star as Lady Anstruther. And, lest the show be accused of British-partiality, Russian actor Rade Sherbedgia has been cast as a refugee who fled Russia during the revolution and will probably also not fall in love with Edith.

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