Hugh Bonneville recently made a woman hyperventilate by speaking to her.

The 48-year-old actor was visiting Los Angeles when a fan of 'Downton Abbey' - in which he plays lead character the Earl of Grantham - came up to him and became so over-excited she struggled to breath correctly.

He told BANG Showbiz: ''I think Americans generally are more at ease with coming up to you and saying, 'We really love the show.' In Britain, we get this, 'Don't look now...' sort of thing. Recently I was in the farmer's market in Los Angeles just doing some shopping and maybe six or seven people came up to us over the course of a couple of hours and wanted to talk to us about the show. Very simple, not mad or anything.

''Well one woman was - she started hyperventilating; bless her. We had to sort of talk her down, calm her down. But here we are very bad at concealing it and just saying hello. It's less painful in the US.''

Hugh is looking forward to people seeing the forthcoming third series of the hit British show, and thinks fans will enjoy how the story develops.

He added: ''I think now that Julian knows us as actors so well, and he has all these stories buzzing around in his head anyway ... I think that first episode, there's something to smile at and laugh at and then there are a couple of quite moving parts in it, and that just gets amplified as the story goes on.''