Downton Abbey is back – along with four brand new arrivals!

Downton Abbey is back this weekend and it looks set to rock our cosy little slipper-socks off.

Excited much? Set in 1924, series 5 of the post-Edwardian drama not only sees the return of our Downton faves, but it also welcomes some brand-spanking new faces.

Along with Maggie Smith (Dowager Countess), Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary Crawley), Allen Leech (Tom Branson) and Rob James-Collier (Thomas Barrow), this autumn sees FOUR new cast arrivals.

Say hello to…

Matt Barber

Yipee – a new hotty to gawp at. Matt, 31, plays a member of the all-new Sinderby family – we’re guessing the son, but we’ll have to wait and see. If Matt looks a tad familiar, it may be because he’s been in the TV show Dracula AND he starred alongside Downton Abbey’s very own Edward Speleers. He also worked with Michelle Dockery back in 2008 for the on-stage production of Pyhmalion.

Penny Downie

Mrs Sinderby, dah-ling. Penny, 60, is actually Australian yet she has an English accent that sounds better than our own! The actress, who got her big break way back in 1979 as Dee Rogers in TV series, Minder, has also starred in Doctors, Ripper Street and cinema-smash, Invictus. Nice.

James Faulkner

Recognise James? Incase you needed reminding, he played Bridget Jones’ bum-pinching Uncle Geoffrey. Suddenly you’re seeing him in a whole different light aren’t you? James, 66, is also the voice of Snape in the Harry Potter video game.

Catherine Steadman

She played Daisy the care-home worker in The Inbetweeners and now Catherine is back as Mabel Lane Fox, Anthony Foyle’s ex-fiancee. The Viscount Gillingham swiftly dumped Mabel in order to pursue Lady Mary for a second time but now the Fox is back on the scene. Will trouble arise?

Not only is Downton introducing these fab new cast members, but there’s also some very exciting guest appearances to look forward to.

Richard E Grant steps on the scene as a guest of the Granthams, Anna Chancellor appears as Lady Anstruther and our favourite older-man, George Clooney, makes a guest appearance in the show’s Christmas charity special. Eeeek!

Want to find out more about the all-new Downton Abbey series? Check out our Downton Special in this week’s NOW magazine, download the digital version here – bit.ly/Downloadnowmag 

Downton Abbey airs this Sunday on ITV at 9pm.

SEE PICTURES Geordie Shore do Downton Abbey