Downton Abbey star Dame Maggie Smith has dismissed reports she was at the centre of a heart scare.

Her spokeswoman said of the award-winning actress: "She is fine and well and at home."

It is thought the reports emerged after Dame Maggie visited her doctor for a routine medical procedure.

The 77-year-old actress plays Violet Crawley, the grand Dowager Countess of Grantham, in the ITV1 period drama, which is a ratings hit on both sides of the Atlantic.

The series reaches the climax of its third season tonight.

ITV has not yet announced a fourth season but Dame Maggie has told creator Julian Fellowes she has no plans to leave the series.