Downton Abbey star Joanne Froggatt has said that she felt privileged to share scenes with Shirley MacLaine and Maggie Smith in the third series.

The actress, who plays the part of housemaid Anna Bates on the period drama, explained that she was honoured to work with the two iconic stars.

Speaking to People, she said: "This scene I was in, there's an amazing little conversation between the two of them, a sort of snipey conversation.

"It was like watching these two legends at work. It was one of the most special days I think I've ever had on set. It was magical."

Froggatt went on to explain that her character will struggle to prove husband John Bates (Brendan Coyle) is innocent of murder charges.

She added: "You do see her grow up that little bit more, and she's a married lady now, she's Mr Bates. She moves into a more senior position in the house and she kind of becomes a woman.

"Obviously her and Mr Bates are having their turmoils again, so she's fighting to free her man as well."