Sir Roger Moore could be swapping 007’s trademark vodka martinis for a glass of sherry in “Downton Abbey” after it emerged that producers want the veteran star to make a cameo appearance in the next series.

Programme insiders say it is hoped Sir Roger, 84, will appear in the third series later this year as a potential love interest for Dame Maggie Smith’s character Violet Crawley. “Sir Roger is considered the perfect choice and his involvement would obviously go down very well with fans of the show,” we’re told. “He would represent an exciting part of Violet’s past. Hopefully Sir Roger will be able to fit it into his schedule.”

It has emerged that fellow national treasure Joan Collins, 78, is being lined up for a role in the next series and she has announced that she would be happy to join the cast, while the recent Christmas edition saw Nigel Havers appear as the caddish Lord Hepworth. Downton triumphed at the Golden Globes at the weekend winning the best mini-series gong and there has even been talk of a Hollywood adaptation.