‘Downton Abbey’ Enlists ‘Girls,’ ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ Actors for Season 5

A Russian refugee drops in on the Granthams

Last Updated: August 4, 2014 @ 11:28 AM

“Downton Abbey” has enlisted “Girls” and “Gosford Park” actor Richard E. Grant to play a guest of the Granthams in Season 5. The characters filling out the household next season will also include a Russian refugee, PBS’ “Masterpiece” announced.

Grant, who also appeared in “Doctor Who,” will play Simon Bricker. Anna Chancellor (“The Hour,” “Four Weddings and a Funeral”) joins in a guest role, playing Lady Anstruther, and Rade Sherbedgia (“Eyes Wide Shut,” “24”) will plays the Russian visitor.

Also read: Ratings: ‘Downton Abbey’ Second Only to ‘Super Bowl’

Returning guest cast member Dame Harriet Walter will reprise her role as Lady Shackleton, along with Peter Egan, who will return as Lord Flintshire.

“We look forward to introducing these new characters to our ‘Masterpiece’ audience,” said “Masterpiece executive producer Rebecca Eaton. “They will make a wonderful addition to the beloved ‘Downton Abbey’ ensemble.”

Also read: Why ‘Downton Abbey’ Will Keep Airing in January in the U.S.

The fourth season of “Downton,” which concludes on PBS on Feb. 23, hit a new record high in the U.S. with its premiere, averaging 15 million viewers, an increase of 39 percent from the Season 3 premiere. The show’s third season made it the highest-rated drama in PBS’ history, reached more than 24 million viewers. The Carnival/Masterpiece co-production is executive produced by Gareth Neame, Julian Fellowes and Liz Trubridge.