**Edit - We're happy to report that this is indeed an April Fool's Day joke. Whew!!
April Fool's Day joke right???
Ed Cumming of The Telegraph reports:
For his first acting role, the X Factor creator and music producer will appear as Baron de Wharffe, an industrialist and old schoolfriend of the Earl of Grantham (Hugh Bonneville). The Baron seeks refuge at Downton after falling on hard times when new laws force him to close down a number of profitable meat factories. He puts his host in a difficult position, however, when he starts encouraging the servants to leave Downton and fulfil their childhood fantasies.
“The Baron is a bit of a cad,” said a source close to the series. “One of those school friends who you love even though they make mischief. His winning smile gets him out of most scrapes.”
Perhaps surprisingly, given the impresario’s hard-to-please reputation as a talent show judge, Cowell was apparently “a real softie” on set. “He said that he wanted to see ‘how the other half lived’ himself. After all that time telling performers on stage what to do, he showed some real guts getting in front of the camera himself. But the director says he took instruction very well, and the crew loved having him around.”
What do you think? Is this for real or The Telegraph's April Fool's joke?