Having appeared in a single episode of EastEnders in 1995 as a headmaster, Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville has said he would consider a return to the BBC soap if the opportunity ever arose.

The Mirror reports that Bonneville said: "I might go back. I am a jobbing actor and I will take whatever comes along, thank you very much. I would never say never.

"The actors who work in soaps are the hardest working actors. The amount of material they have to learn is so much. It's phenomenal."

As to the future of Downton Abbey, Bonneville added: "I honestly don't know how long Julian [Fellowes, creator] can go on with Downton – I don't know if there will be a fifth series.

"I am sure the money men would like it to go on forever and ever because it does sell extremely well around the world.

"I hope Julian quits while he is ahead but he is a wise soul."