Michael Berkeley 's guest is actor Dan Stevens, one of the rising young stars of stage and screen. He plays Matthew Crawley in the ITV hit series 'Downton Abbey', which returns shortly with a Christmas Special. Before Downton, Dan played the lead role of Nick Guest in the BBC's adaptation of Alan Hollinghurst's Booker Prize-winning novel 'The Line of Beauty', and appeared as Edward Ferrars in Andrew Davies' BBC adaptation of 'Sense and Sensibility'. He has also appeared in other TV dramas, including 'Turn of the Screw', 'Dracula' and 'Maxwell'. He has a leading role in a forthcoming US movie 'Vamps', alongside Sigourney Weaver, Alicia Silverstone and Krysten Ritter. On stage he has appeared in several Peter Hall productions, including 'Hay Fever', 'Much Ado about Nothing' and 'As You Like It'; starred as Septimus Hodge in Tom Stoppard's 'Arcadia', and appeared in Samuel West's production of 'The Romans in Britain'. He is also a highly acclaimed narrator of audiobooks, and is often heard on BBC Radio 4.
Dan Stevens is a fan of early music, and his choices include Byrd's Mass for 4 voices, sung by the Oxford Camerata and Allegri's Miserere. He has chosen extracts from two famous requiem masses, by Mozart and Faure, that he sang in the choir at Tonbridge School, while the slow movement of Bach's Double Violin Concerto, played by Daniel Hope, was a piece played at his wedding. Film music has had a particular influence on him, and he has chosen the Sanctus of the Missa Luba, from the soundtrack of 'If', and Philip Glass's Koyaanisqatsi, which he first heard while studying at Cambridge University. A piece by his university composer friend John Boden and Chet Baker's jazz classic 'I'm Old Fashioned' complete his list.