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It looks like the long-rumoured Downton Abbey movie is actually happening!

Dame Maggie Smith has reportedly signed on to appear in a big screen version of the period drama as Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham.

Speaking at BBC America’s BAFTA Party in West Hollywood, actor Michael Fox told DailyMail.com: “[Maggie Smith] elevates it to something else, because she is such a legend and a national treasure. It becomes a different show and she puts a stamp on it of quality.”

Fox, who played Andy Parker, added: “[Maggie Smith] is one of those actors you look at, and say, ‘How on earth does do they do it?’ Everyone says Maggie gets the best lines – they are funny on the page, but she makes them exceptional – she is really special. The film without her would still be good with all the other actors, but it puts a stamp of quality with her in it.”

The final episode of Downton Abbey aired last Christmas on ITV.

Buy the complete Season 1-6 box set on Amazon here.

Michelle Dockery, who played Lady Mary in all six seasons, revealed earlier this year that she would “wholeheartedly consider” appearing in a movie spin-off.

She commented: “The thing that I miss the most are my cast members. But we are all still very close.”

Who else do you want to see back in the Downton Abbey movie? Let us know below…

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