Downton Abbey newcomer Nigel Harman has revealed that his initial audition for the show didn’t quite go according to plan.

The former EastEnders star, who will make his debut as visiting valet Mr Green in the forthcoming new series, revealed that while he is now part of Downton’s downstairs crew, he originally had a different role in mind.

“I auditioned for Lord Gillingham, who’s a new dashing love interest of Mary,” Nigel revealed.

“When I went in, I looked absolutely gorgeous, if I do say so myself. I had lovely hair and I’d even ironed my shirt. I was telling excellent stories and being so charming and well spoken.”

However the next day he received a call from his agent, who told him: ‘They think you’re much more suited to downstairs’ – which ultimately led to him being cast as Lord Gillingham’s valet instead.

Nigel added that he had not seen a lot of Downton Abbey in the past.

“After the first episode I’m not really sure what happens. But I’m very aware of its size,” he said.

“There was a big sense of responsibility walking on to that show. When you’re joining a show that’s doing all right and it goes down, people are going to say it’s your fault.”

However the actor admitted that while he is pleased to be a part of Downton, it is not his ‘dream job’.

“That would be something like a really worthy piece of theatre in a warehouse, getting all gritty,” he explained.