The Royle Family star Sue Johnston is to guest star in the new series of Downton Abbey.

Sue, who also recently spent a year in Coronation Street playing Gloria Price, is sticking to her working-class roots, playing Denker, Lady’s Maid to Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham, in series five of Downton Abbey.

She’ll join a stellar line-up of guest stars for the new series, including Richard E Grant, Anna Chancellor, Dame Harriet Walter, who reprises her role as Lady Shackleton and Peter Egan, who returns as Lord Flintshire

Downton Abbey returns this autum and again at Christmas 2014 with a feature-ength episode.

In the UK, series four of Downton Abbey saw the strongest ever series launch, with 12 million viewers tuning in and an overall 40 per cent audience share, and the series consolidated at 11.9 million across the run, while it hit a new record high in the US with its series 4 opener on PBS, averaging 15 millions viewers, an increase of 39 percent from the series 3 opening episode.