We can’t wait to meet Downton Abbey newcomer Shirley MacLaine in the first episode of the new series on ITV1 tonight.

And if fellow cast member Hugh Bonneville is to be believed, we’re in for a real treat!

‘I was there in the hall when Maggie [Smith] and Shirley first met’ he reveals in an interview with the Radio Times. ‘It was quite something. It was like Stanley meeting Livingstone – these two great adventurers of our industry meeting for the first time on the show. Often in the dinner scenes, with me sitting between Maggie and Shirley, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.’

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