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'It was magical' - Norfolk dance teacher stars in new Downton Abbey film

PUBLISHED: 08:54 13 September 2019 | UPDATED: 09:26 13 September 2019

Dancer Steve Kennedy from Whitwell who is in a dance scene in the new Downton Abbey film. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Dancer Steve Kennedy from Whitwell who is in a dance scene in the new Downton Abbey film. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2019

A Norfolk dance teacher tells what it was like to appear in the big screen release of Downton Abbey.

Dancer Steve Kennedy from Whitwell who is in a dance scene in the new Downton Abbey film. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYDancer Steve Kennedy from Whitwell who is in a dance scene in the new Downton Abbey film. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Anticipation has been building around the globe since news of a Downton Abbey film was announced last year.

Now fans can finally get to enjoy the big screen release as the Crawley family returns this week.

But a man from Norfolk has already had a taste of the drama after he arrived on set back in October to appear in the film.

Steve Kennedy is part of a "seedy club scene" where he dances the Charleston and quickstep with a group of other performers - including main characters such as Robert James-Collier, who plays Thomas Barrow.

Undated film still handout from Downton Abbey. Pictured: (L-R) Elizabeth McGovern as Cora Crawley, Harry Haddon-Paton as Bertie Pelham, Laura Carmichael as Edith Crawley, Hugh Bonneville as Robert Crawley and Michael Fox as Andy. See PA Feature SHOWBIZ Film Downton Abbey. Picture credit: PA Photo/Focus Features/Jaap Buitendijk. All Rights Reserved.Undated film still handout from Downton Abbey. Pictured: (L-R) Elizabeth McGovern as Cora Crawley, Harry Haddon-Paton as Bertie Pelham, Laura Carmichael as Edith Crawley, Hugh Bonneville as Robert Crawley and Michael Fox as Andy. See PA Feature SHOWBIZ Film Downton Abbey. Picture credit: PA Photo/Focus Features/Jaap Buitendijk. All Rights Reserved.

He said: "The highlight was just being a part of it and meeting people. It was magical being on the set. I really felt like being transported back to the 1920s."

Mr Kennedy, of Whitwell, near Reepham, first heard about a role via his agent.

He spent two days in Yorkshire both auditioning and for a costume fitting, before spending another two days filming - where some of his time was spent recording on the set of hit series Peaky Blinders.

"It had to be kept a secret, as is the new TV series I'm also dancing in - set just before the Battle of Waterloo.

Undated film still handout from Downton Abbey. Pictured: Michelle Dockery as Mary Crawley and Matthew Goode as Henry Talbot. See PA Feature SHOWBIZ Film Downton Abbey. Picture credit: PA Photo/Focus Features/Jaap Buitendijk. All Rights Reserved.Undated film still handout from Downton Abbey. Pictured: Michelle Dockery as Mary Crawley and Matthew Goode as Henry Talbot. See PA Feature SHOWBIZ Film Downton Abbey. Picture credit: PA Photo/Focus Features/Jaap Buitendijk. All Rights Reserved.

"The story is we're in an underground gay club and we get raided and arrested - that was fun!

"As regards to choreography, the choreographer was more than happy for us to do what we did ourselves."

Mr Kennedy also experienced a drama of his own when the hotel they were staying at had to be evacuated at 5am due to a fire.

"The firemen told me it was due to a hair dryer being left on whilst in bed," he explained.

Dancer Steve Kennedy from Whitwell who is in a dance scene in the new Downton Abbey film. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYDancer Steve Kennedy from Whitwell who is in a dance scene in the new Downton Abbey film. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

A dance teacher, Mr Kennedy holds classes across the county but said he "brushed up with a lesson or two" with professional ballroom and Latin American dance instructors, Donna Poole and Yvonne Sidebotham.

As well as teaching dance, such as the Argentine Tango, Lindy Hop and Swing, Mr Kennedy has also toured as an actor, written and produced a comedy for a theme park for a number of years and worked as a photographer.

The Downton Abbey film is out this weekend.

Undated film still handout from Downton Abbey. Pictured: (L-R) Laura Carmichael as Edith Crawley and Dame Maggie Smith as Violet Crawley. See PA Feature SHOWBIZ Film Downton Abbey. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Focus Features/Jaap Buitendijk. All Rights Reserved.Undated film still handout from Downton Abbey. Pictured: (L-R) Laura Carmichael as Edith Crawley and Dame Maggie Smith as Violet Crawley. See PA Feature SHOWBIZ Film Downton Abbey. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Focus Features/Jaap Buitendijk. All Rights Reserved.

Undated film still handout from Downton Abbey. Pictured: (L-R) Lesley Nicol as Mrs. Patmore, Sophie McShera as Daisy Mason, Jim Carter as Charles Carson and Phyllis Logan as Mrs. Hughes. PA Feature SHOWBIZ Film Downton Abbey. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Focus Features/Jaap Buitendijk. All Rights Reserved.Undated film still handout from Downton Abbey. Pictured: (L-R) Lesley Nicol as Mrs. Patmore, Sophie McShera as Daisy Mason, Jim Carter as Charles Carson and Phyllis Logan as Mrs. Hughes. PA Feature SHOWBIZ Film Downton Abbey. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Focus Features/Jaap Buitendijk. All Rights Reserved.

Undated film still handout from Downton Abbey. Pictured: Tuppence Middleton as Lucy and Allen Leech as Tom Branson. PA Feature SHOWBIZ Film Downton Abbey. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Focus Features/Jaap Buitendijk. All Rights Reserved.Undated film still handout from Downton Abbey. Pictured: Tuppence Middleton as Lucy and Allen Leech as Tom Branson. PA Feature SHOWBIZ Film Downton Abbey. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Focus Features/Jaap Buitendijk. All Rights Reserved.

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Undated film still handout from Downton Abbey. Pictured: Jim Carter as Charles Carson. See PA Feature SHOWBIZ Film Downton Abbey. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Focus Features/Jaap Buitendijk. All Rights Reserved.Undated film still handout from Downton Abbey. Pictured: Jim Carter as Charles Carson. See PA Feature SHOWBIZ Film Downton Abbey. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Focus Features/Jaap Buitendijk. All Rights Reserved.

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