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PBS says rapper Diddy will not appear on 'Downton Abbey'

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Music mogul and rapper Sean "Diddy" Combs will not be appearing in British period TV drama "Downton Abbey," U.S. broadcaster PBS said on Wednesday, despite tweets saying he would be joining the hit show's upcoming season.

Diddy set social media abuzz on Wednesday after posts on his verified Twitter account said, "MY BIG NEWS: So happy to announce that Im a series regular on DOWNTON ABBEY-my favorite show+i'll be debuting a sneak peek tonight 12am PST!."

"It's not true," PBS spokeswoman Carrie Johnson said in an email to Reuters.

It is unknown whether or not Diddy's Twitter account @iamdiddy, followed by 8.7 million people, was hacked after the "Downton Abbey" logo was added as the avatar and background on the account.

A representative for Diddy, 43, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Emmy-winning series "Downton Abbey," about the lives of aristocratic Britons and their servants in the early 20th century, is broadcast on Britain's ITV and on public broadcaster PBS in the United States.

The show's third season U.S. premiere in January attracted a record 7.9 million viewers for PBS. The fourth season is currently being filmed in Britain.

Diddy, 43, 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.

He also scored No. 1 hits in the late 1990s with rap songs "Can't Nobody Hold Me Down" and "I'll Be Missing You."

(This version of the story corrects the name of the show to "Downton Abbey" in the first paragraph.)

(Reporting by Eric Kelsey; Editing by Piya Sinha-Roy and Cynthia Osterman)

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