Downton Abbey star Dan Stevens has revealed he was taken by surprise to be praised for the show by a butler.

The hit ITV costume drama attracted some criticism for historical inaccuracies, but Dan – who plays heir to the opulent estate Matthew Crawley in the show about the wealthy family and the servants living in a country house in the early 1900s – has found there are Downton fans lurking everywhere.

He told Vogue that he met a butler at a dinner at a house in Belgravia and revealed: “He took me aside on the stairs and said, ‘I just have to tell you, Mr Stevens, that we are all big fans of the show’.

Dan added: “Life has got a bit strange.”

Michelle Dockery, Jessica Brown-Findlay and Laura Carmichael play the Earl of Gantham’s three daughters living at Downton, Lady Mary, Lady Edith and Lady Sybil, who are changed by the outbreak of war in the second series, airing this autumn.

Laura revealed: “It’s fun watching the changes in what we’re filming now – the skirts shortening and Edith, who was the silliest of the three, opening up through the drama of war.

“Lady Edith is the daughter that everyone expects will have to take care of her mother and father, which makes her more determined than the other two to hook a husband.”

Michelle said: “We are all starting to grow up in the second series. Mary is becoming a woman and is moving on from her relationship with Matthew, but she’s a contradiction because in a way, he’s everything she wants.”

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