The famed Downton Abbey dining room featured at “Downton Abbey: The Exhibition.” (Marc Vitali / WTTW News)

In the old Bloomingdale’s store, there’s plenty of elbow room to tour this museum-quality show filled with sets, memorabilia and props. 

Lesley Nicol brings her new autobiographical show “How the Hell Did I Get Here?” to the Greenhouse Theater Center in Chicago. (Courtesy of Pemberley Productions)

Actor Lesley Nicol earned accolades for portraying the head cook Mrs. Patmore on six seasons of the television show “Downton Abbey” and in two movies. Now, she’s ready to premiere her new stage show in Chicago.

We go backstage as an actor prepares “The King’s Speech” at Chicago Shakespeare Theater – and remembers his role on “Downton Abbey.”

Afternoon tea in the parlor and dressing in black tie just to have dinner at home: that was everyday life for the fictional, aristocratic Crawley family. Starting today, Downton fans can get an up-close look at those fashions in a new exhibit at the Driehaus Museum. Brandis Friedman takes us inside.

We take a closer look at the international popularity of the PBS megahit Downton Abbey with Rules, Britannia author and BBC America blogger Toni Hargis and Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn.

Downton Abbey's fourth season had a blockbuster premiere this past weekend. We revisit a conversation with Lesley Nicol, the show's feisty but devoted head cook on PBS's megahit. Watch a web extra conversation with Nicol and view a slideshow.

IL Credit Rating & Lesley Nicol

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Lesley Nicol plays the feisty but devoted head cook on the PBS hit series, Downton Abbey. She's here to tell us how she landed the plum role, and to talk about a one-woman play she's bringing to Chicago.