Downton Abbey: Dan Stevens apologises for Christmas Day death of Matthew Crawley!


After his character’s disappointing Downton Abbey exit last Christmas, Dan Stevens has apologised to fans.

Fans of the hit ITV period drama were left broken hearted last Christmas when, only a matter of weeks after watching his sister-in-law die straight after childbirth, Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens) met his maker when his car careered off the road, killing him moments after meeting his first born son and heir.

In reality the writers hands were somewhat tied in the decision to kill off the beloved character as Dan Stevens had decided not to renew his contract at the end of series three. And, given the nature of the show, and Stevens’ character, death was the only option.

Still, that wasn’t much comfort to the fans who found the sudden exit disappointing and worried that the sudden exit of another much-loved main character so soon after Lady Sybil’s (Jessica Brown-Findlay) death would be detrimental to the future of the show.

Bosses at the award-winning show have been on an out and out damage control mission since Stevens; departure, assuring fans that the show would be bigger and better in wake of the two tragedies, and with pictures emerging of the current filming of series 4, it would seem we have nothing to fear.


However, Dan Stevens, the actor who played Matthew Crawley has felt the need to come out and apologised to fans for his decision to leave the show.

Discussing his exit with the Radio Times, the actor admitted:

“I am sorry about that!

“I think what emerged is that it’s an unwritten rule that you’re not supposed to die on British television on Christmas Day, and that, specifically, was not my doing.

“I didn’t have any say in the manner in which he went. Ultimately, it was in the hands of Julian [Fellowes] and the producers.”


The actor, who is set to appear alongside Sherlock’s Benedict Cumberbatch in the new movie The Fifth Estate about WikiLeaks out this October, went on to agree with the writers decision to kill Matthew, explaining:

“It was right that he didn’t run off and have an affair with somebody.

“I don’t think that would have been right for Matthew as a character.”

Filming for the fourth series of Downton Abbey is currently underway and is due to hit our screens this autumn – watch an interview with Stevens in the clip below: