Richard E. Grant is joining the 'Downton Abbey' cast

British actor Richard E. Grant arrives for the

British actor Richard E. Grant arrives for the South Bank Sky Arts Awards, held at the Dorchester hotel in central London on Monday, Jan. 27, 2014. (Credit: AP / Joel Ryan)

Three new cast members will join the PBS series "Downton Abbey" for season 5.

British actor Richard E. Grant will join the cast as Simon Bricker, who visits the wavering estate as a guest of the Crawleys.

It's a world Grant is quite familiar with, demonstrating his footman skills in 2001's "Gosford Park," which was penned by "Downton Abbey" creator Julian Fellowes.


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Also getting in the upstairs / downstairs mix are Anna Chancellor ("The Hour," "Four Weddings and a Funeral"), who joins in a guest role as Lady Anstruther, as well as Rade Sherbedgia ("Eyes Wide Shut," "24"), who will play a Russian refugee.

The fourth season of "Downton Abbey" is currently airing and concludes Sunday. Its two-hour season opener brought in 10.2 million viewers.

The new season is set to follow the same hair-pulling rollout schedule: a British launch in the fall, followed by a winter debut in the United States.

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