Allen Leech talks about playing chauffeur Branson in Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey actor Allen Leech has been telling What’s On TV magazine what it’s like playing political activist and Crawley family chauffeur, Branson.

And during the course of the conversation, Allen let slip that in next Sunday’s episode, Branson will ask Lady Sybil (Jessica Brown-Findlay) to run away with him!

Of that plotline, Allen said, “After laying his cards on the table in the first episode – he took his hat off and everything – you can see he’s completely in love and infatuated with Lady Sybil.

“He did get a rebuttal at first, but being a headstrong Irishman he doesn’t give up. There is a fire and spirit about Sybil which appeals to him.

“She’s interested in politics and he stokes that. He is quite well educated, and throughout the series we see him constantly questioning her and a definite bond growing between them.

“Whether they do get together, and can cross the class divide, is essentially the personal drama for Branson…

“What’s nice about this second series is that there are lots of issues for Branson, as there’s the question of conscription, and the Easter Uprising in Ireland happened in 1916, so they affect him deeply.

“So he has big decisions to make with his political ideals, and how he feels about Lady Sybil.”

And when asked, “Is Branson hoping things will soon change politically in Britain and Ireland?” Allen replied, “When Downton is requisitioned by military authorities to be a convalescent home, Branson see that as a signal that things at last will be different.

“The way people view the working class and the aristocracy begins to change. It gives Branson hope that things won’t be the same after the war.

“He’s always reading the papers and lecturing the staff about what’s happening in the world.”

And finally, Allen was asked if it’s true that he amuses his cast-mates by doing impressions of them, he said, “Sometimes I do yeah! I do Jim Carter (the butler Carson) well – he’s pretty easy because you just drop your voice as low as it can go.

“He’s like the headmaster of us all and I’m like his naughty pupil doing impressions behind his back. Off set, we’re a very joke-around kind of cast, which is nice!”

Downton Abbey continues on Sundays at 9pm on ITV1.

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.