Gillian Anderson missed out on the chance to star in Downton Abbey after she was offered a leading role in the popular British period drama.

The X Files star has revealed she was approached by TV bosses to play American aristocrat Lady Cora Crawley in the Emmy-winning TV series, which has become a hit on both sides of the Atlantic.
However, the part eventually went to Elizabeth McGovern.
Anderson tells TV Guide Magazine, "I was actually offered a part in Downton."

Nevertheless, she hopes her role in a TV adaptation of Charles Dickens' Great Expectations will be just as popular: "Hopefully people will embrace it with the same love that flowed toward Downton Abbey."