Actor Rege-Jean Page has said that new Netflix period drama Bridgerton is like "Downton Abbey's wayward sibling", but "considerably more scandalous".

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Speaking to BBC Breakfast, the Zimbabwean-born For The People star said: "I don't know if we’re the answer to Downton Abbey, I think we might be Downton Abbey’s wayward sibling possibly, considerably more scandalous.

"I think the idea we had with Bridgerton was very much in the early conversations, to do something fresh and exciting and entirely more fun, fast, funny and glamorous than has been done before in the period genre.

"It’s kind of meant to be something a bit kind of colourful and fluffy for Christmas, hopefully like a big, warm Regency hug to help you get through a festive period that’s been a little bit different for everyone this year."

Netflix’s raunchy new romantic period drama, described as Gossip Girl meets Downton Abbey, sees Page playing the mysterious and rebellious Duke of Hastings.

Derry Girls’ Nicola Coughlan plays Penelope and Claudia Jessie who plays Eloise 

It follows Phoebe Dynevor’s character, Daphne Bridgerton, the eldest daughter of the powerful Bridgerton family, as she makes her debut on Regency London’s competitive marriage market.

Page, 30, plays the character of Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings, as "tall, dark, broody and thoroughly broken", adding: "But also very charming when he wants to be."

He said: "He can do better than your least objectionable option I suppose but that’s kind of the journey we take him on through the series.

" I was very interested in kind of examining what makes this tall, dark and broken archetype attractive to begin with, what is attractive about our Darcys and our Heathcliffs and how can we bring a 21st century conversation into that."

Bridgerton is the first series from Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes’s production company Shondaland, following her lucrative deal with the streaming giant.

It also stars Julie Andrews as the voice of Lady Whistledown, an anonymous and mysterious gossip writer.

Bridgerton is currently streaming on Netflix.