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The Chiswick-based actress Elizabeth McGovern will shed her demure television image as the wife of the Earl of Grantham in the TV series ‘Downton Abbey’ to take on a very different role this summer.

She is scheduled to make a guest appearance with Scottish rock band Big Country at the Isle of Wight Festival, joining the band for their Main Stage performance at the festival in June.

Away from the period set of Downton, the American-born actress has a very different life as a performer with her band, Sadie and the Hot Heads. They will play a set on the Garden Stage just prior to her taking to the stage with Big Country.

Returning to the Isle of Wight Festival for the second year running, Big Country are in the process of making their first studio album in 13 years with producers Steve Lillywhite & Youth at the helm

Elizabeth McGovern, who lives in Chiswick with her husband and two daughters, has also starred in 'Once Upon A Time In America', 'Ragtime', and 'Ordinary People'.

She said: "I am thrilled to be playing with such a stellar cast of musicians and look forward greatly to performing with Big Country - and of course my band Sadie & The Hot Heads."

Big Country's Tony Butler said: "We had a tradition of working with great female vocalists such as Kate Bush and Eddi Reader in the past, so having the opportunity to have Elizabeth perform with us at the IOW is going to be really cool."

John Giddings, the Festival’s promoter, said: "I have been a fan since I saw her in ‘Once Upon A Time in America’ and as soon as I found out that Elizabeth could sing, it was a must to invite her to play at the festival.


March 17, 2012