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'Downton Abbey's Lesley Nicol to guest star on 'Once Upon a Time'

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Downton Abbey S03E04: Cara Theobold as Ivy Stuart and Lesley Nicol as Mrs Patmore

© ITV

Downton Abbey actress Lesley Nicol is to guest star on Once Upon a Time.

The 59-year-old actress, who plays cook Mrs Patmore in the ITV1 period drama, has signed up to the ABC show.

Josh Dallas, who plays Prince Charming on the fantasy series, tweeted about Nicol's arrival, saying: "As a Huge #DowntonAbbey Fan I'm very excited @lesley_nicol is coming to #OnceUponATime!"

Details of Nicol's character have yet to be released, but she will have a "special connection" to the Snow White family, according to TVLine.

Nicol is also due to continue on Downton Abbey, which was recently confirmed to be returning for a fourth series.

Series creator and writer Julian Fellowes recently defended the shocking events of the Christmas special, insisting that it was essential to "have a twist" in the show.

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