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Downton to new US sci-fi show as Maria's star rises

DOWNTON Abbey actress Maria Doyle Kennedy has landed a lead role in a new US sci-fi series.

The 43-year-old singer and actress is enjoying a golden spell in her career having appeared in the Oscar-nominated film Albert Nobbs earlier this year, and also starring in ITV's mini series Titanic.

The striking actress shot to fame as Natalie in The Commitments and in recent years played Queen Katherine in The Tudors.


Maria says her success is all down to her parents, who instilled in her a good work ethic from a very young age.

"I grew up with that. My parents are extremely hard working. I still think it's a great privilege to be able to survive."

Despite her hugely successful acting career, the mum-of-four says her toughest audience has always been her children. She says the only role that her children have been seriously impressed by was a fleeting cameo in Father Ted.

"The only thing they have ever even commented on was the fact that I was in Father Ted once. They were really impressed by that."

Orphan Black, Doyle Kennedy's new show follows a streetwise young woman who makes the shocking discovery that she's a clone.

Canadian actress Tatiana Maslany will play the lead role of Sarah, who is billed as an "outsider, orphan and street wise chameleon".

Sarah's life is turned upside down when she witnesses a murder. As if all that wasn't bad enough she soon discovers that the victim is her clone.

The 10-part series will premiere in the US in 2013, as part of BBC America's Supernatural Saturdays.