Rapper Diddy spoofs 'Downton Abbey' after teasing Twitter fans

LOS ANGELES Thu May 16, 2013 11:09pm BST

Musician and executive producer Sean ''Diddy'' Combs arrives on the red carpet for the screening of the film ''Lawless'', in competition at the 65th Cannes Film Festival, May 19, 2012. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier

Musician and executive producer Sean ''Diddy'' Combs arrives on the red carpet for the screening of the film ''Lawless'', in competition at the 65th Cannes Film Festival, May 19, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Jean-Paul Pelissier

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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Rapper Sean "Diddy" Combs debuted a comedy spoof of himself appearing in his "favorite show of all time," British period drama "Downton Abbey," on Thursday after teasing fans that he was joining the Emmy-winning show's cast.

"Downton Diddy," hosted on comedy video website funnyordie.com, saw the music mogul adding himself to scenes from the first three seasons of the hit British drama, playing self-created character Lord Wolcott.

Diddy, 43, led into the clip with the news that "Downton Abbey" would be adding its first black cast member in its fourth season, saying that he had already "broken down that barrier" as Wolcott.

The almost five-minute clip shows Diddy in character in different scenes with the show's main cast, the aristocratic Crawley family and their bevy of servants.

"Downton Abbey" is broadcast on Britain's ITV and on public broadcaster PBS in the United States, where the show has become PBS's most-watched series. It drew a PBS-record 7.9 million viewers for the third season U.S. premiere in January.

The rapper set social media abuzz on Wednesday after tweeting his 8.7 million followers that he was going to become a regular on the show.

A PBS spokeswoman said on Thursday the network did not know about the spoof video in advance. The spokeswoman had said on Wednesday that Diddy's claims on social media were not true.

The cast and production team were all on board, however, with the show's official verified Twitter account posting the video, adding "it seems there is no end to the willing volunteers for a role in #Downton Abbey!"

Diddy rose to prominence in the 1990s for founding New York rap label Bad Boy Records, which helped launch the career of late rapper Notorious B.I.G., and hits including "I'll Be Missing You."

Combs also has a line of clothing and in recent years has taken acting roles, appearing in comedy film "Get Him To The Greek" and FX's cult television comedy "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia."

(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Eric Kelsey and Bill Trott)

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