Downton Abbey newcomer Tom Cullen has admitted he found filming his first scenes on the ITV show ‘absolutely terrifying’.

The 28-year-old, who will arrive in the fourth series of the show as the dashing Lord Gillingham, told the Sunday Mirror that stepping on to the set was a surreal experience.

“It was the weirdest experience,” the actor said. “It’s a bit like stepping into a dream.

“Seeing all these living, breathing characters walking around and I’m in the middle of it, not knowing what the hell I’m doing there. Very weird.”

However Tom added that his female co-stars made him welcome on a night out.

“They are some of the best dancers I’ve ever seen,” the Welsh born actor revealed, “and they are all really good craic.”

Tom is joining a line-up of newcomers which also include Julian Ovenden as aristocrat Charles Blake and former EastEnders star Nigel Harman as a valet named Green.

Meanwhile actor Gary Carr will also debut in the fourth series as the show’s first major black character, jazz singer Jack Ross.

“He’s a celebrity of the time so there is a confidence about him and a sweetness,” Gary said, saying that the character was ‘charming’.

Downton Abbey will return to ITV in the autumn.