Belfast Telegraph

Downton's Cullen: Smith is tough

Downton Abbey newcomer Tom Cullen has admitted he gets nervous acting opposite veteran star Dame Maggie Smith.

The Welsh actor has joined the hit period drama as Lady Mary Crawley's new love interest Lord Gillingham, and told The Sun that Dame Maggie expects the very best from all her co-stars.

Tom said: "It's kind of surreal being in a room with Maggie Smith and Shirley MacLaine. I'm like, 'What the hell is going on?'

"The thing about Maggie is, because she's been doing this for so long, she knows how to get the best out of a scene.

"And so she doesn't take any bulls***."

Meanwhile, it has been revealed that supermarket Tesco is to sponsor the new series of Downton when it returns to ITV in October.

The fourth series of the show will be sponsored by Tesco Finest, the first television sponsorship deal by the food range.

Twelve million viewers watched the third series, giving it a 40 per cent share of the UK TV audience.

The new series is set in 1922 and begins six months after the death of the heir to the Downton estate Matthew Crawley, who was killed off in a car crash at the end of the Christmas special.

It was recently revealed supermarket chain Marks and Spencer has launched a Downton Abbey range of toiletries.

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