Dominic West and Imelda Staunton will both star in second Downton Abbey movie before reuniting on The Crown

THE second Downton Abbey movie is going to look like a dress rehearsal for the new series of The Crown – because it won’t just star Dominic West but Imelda Staunton as well.

The duo are set to play the Queen and Prince Charles in the fifth season of the Netflix royal drama, which will start filming in June.

But first they’ll appear opposite each other in the Downton sequel, which started filming last week with Imelda resuming her role as Lady Maud Bagshaw.

A TV insider said: “It’s not clear exactly what role Dominic will play, but there’s a chance we will get to see the dynamic between the two leading actors in the second Downton film.

“It’s believed his busy filming commitments for this year, which include this movie sequel, were part of the reason why he took a long time to sign up to play Charles.

“Fans of the period drama will also be thrilled to see Imelda’s much-loved character return to the cast, after appearing in the first movie.

“They won’t have been expecting it, as filming of Downton Abbey 2 is so close to filming of The Crown.”

The second Downton film, once again written by Julian Fellowes, is set to be released on December 22 this year.

Central cast members will be returning alongside Dominic and Hugh Dancy, Laura Haddock and Nathalie Baye.

Lady Maud appeared in the first movie — based on the original ITV drama series — opposite real-life husband Jim Carter, who plays the stately home’s butler, Mr Carson.

The Sun exclusively revealed that Dominic was set to play Prince Charles and Imelda would play the Queen in the new series of The Crown.

Set to air next year, the show will cover the years 1990 to 1997.

Here’s hoping they hit it off on Downton first . . . 

Meg springs new ITV show

SHE’S one of the BBC’s rising stars but Springwatch presenter Megan McCubbin is jumping over to ITV.

Megan, who appears on the BBC show alongside her stepdad Chris Packham, will have her own wildlife series called Nurture Your Nature as a segment on This Morning.

She is on the show today to discuss the three-part series, which starts next week and will see her visit Brent Lodge Wildlife Hospital in West Sussex to meet injured hedgehogs, help save bumblebees and explain why we should all love bats.

Megan said: “I can’t wait to showcase the importance of protecting our wild spaces and the species within by going to meet some of the nation’s favourite animals.”

Saff's new add dress

SAFFRON Barker’s whirl on Strictly Come Dancing has clearly done more than just boost her bank balance.

It sounds like it has also fed an obsession with costume changes – as she’s turning three of her five bedrooms into giant wardrobes.

The 20-year-old YouTube and Strictly star even admits she was forced to leave her childhood home because her huge collection of clothes meant only one room was left for her family to live in.

Home is now a luxury house in Brighton.

Saffron, who has her own clothing line at Primark, said: “Really the main reason I moved out was so that I could have a walk-in wardrobe, because in our family house we had four rooms and three of them were wardrobes.

“It’s a five-bedroom house, it’s going to be a two-bedroom house because three are going to be my wardrobe.”

Chloe’s stellar cast

A STELLAR cast has been unveiled for BBC1’s new thriller, Chloe.

It includes Erin Doherty, who played Princess Anne in The Crown, Billy Howle, who played heroic Herman Knippenberg in BBC1 thriller The Serpent, and Jack Farthing – Poldark’s George Warleggan.

Thrill of threes in sex show

THE channel that brought us highbrow programmes Naked Attraction and Sexbox is creating a new show called My First Threesome.

Channel 4 is offering couples the chance to bring another person into their bedroom for some fun and share the experience on telly.

Other participants will reveal their experiences of threesomes – the successes as well as the disasters.

The new reality doc is being filmed this summer and will be broadcast later this year.

It is being made by Spun Gold – the team behind celebrity strip dance show The Real Full Monty On Ice.

A source said: “Lockdown left a lot of couples bored in the bedroom.

“My First Threesome will explore the idea that a huge number of people secretly hanker after an extra lover.”

Sian joins new drama

FLEABAG and Quiz star Sian Clifford joins Thomasin McKenzie, James McArdle, Jessica Brown Findlay and Jessica Hynes in new BBC1 drama, Life After Life.

The show adapts Kate Atkinson’s novel about a girl who dies over and over again.

Filming has just started.

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