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Thought you knew everything about your favourite TV drama? Then think again…these are the 11 things you never knew about Downton Abbey!

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1 – Word on the street is that X Files actress Gillian Anderson turned down the part of Lady Grantham before it was offered to Elizabeth McGoven.

 

2 – Highclere (the house where Downton is filmed) isn’t just famous for being Downton Abbey, it was also hired for the interior location in Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman’s film Eyes Wide Shut. Plus the exterior was used for 1991’s Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves. Who knew?!DOWNTON_CHRISTMAS_2015_

3 – Hugh Bonneville (the Earl of Grantham) and Elizabeth McGovern (Countess of Grantham) have actually played husband and wife before! The couple were also man and wife in the TV movie Thursday The 12th as well as the TV series Freezing.

 

4 – Apparently Gary Oldman has said how much he loves the show as has Harrison Ford! Rumour has it he even asked Julian Fellowes for a cameo role!

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5 – Jessica Brown Findlay who played Lady Sybil trained as a ballet dancer and was invited to dance with the Russian Kirov Ballet Company when she was 15 years old! But an injury forced her to go into acting instead…

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6 – Part of the show are filmed at the Highclere Castle but the scenes in the servants’ quarters and kitchen have to be filmed in a studio they built 60 miles from the castle because those areas have been modernized!

 

7 – Hollywood actors Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher are huge fans of the show and popped along to meet the cast while they were in London, as did Maggie Gyllenhaal.

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8 – Other rumoured celebrity fans of the show are Bette Midler, Sandra Bullock, Hillary Clinton and Steve Buscemi. Plus, Edie Falco and Rob Lowe both accosted Michelle Dockery on the red carpet apparently!

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9 – Apparently Brendan Coyle who plays Mr Bates, was left star struck when he bumped into Sir Alex Ferguson and Kenny Dalglish at an event, but it turned out they were more star struck meeting him!

 

10 – The Abbey became a recovery for troops in the second season, which isn’t far off from real life. The Countess turned the home into a hospital during World War I.

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11 – Apparently the characters for Hugh Bonneville, Brendan Coyle and Maggie Smith’s roles were actually written specifically for them – thank goodness they agreed to play the parts!

 

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