Downton Abbey: Miranda star, Tom Ellis, to join cast as Lady Mary’s new love interest?

by Anna Howell

As we reported earlier this year, following the tragic death of Matthew Crawley during last year’s Christmas special of the popular ITV period drama, Downton Abbey, producers are currently on the hunt to find a new love interest for his widow, Lady Mary, and it seems that they might have set their sights on Miranda star, Tom Ellis!

Fans of Downton watched in horror on Christmas Day when Matthew (Dan Stevens) met his maker by crashing his car moments after meeting his first born son and heir.

The decision to kill of Matthew was out of the writer’s hands after Dan Stevens, who played Matthew, decided not to renew his contract at the end of series 3. Given the time the show is set, and nature of Matthew’s family, death really was the only answer, but it still left a bitter taste in viewer’s mouths.

However, after revealing that series four, which has just begun filming, would see the characters of Downton Abbey following a new direction, the shows writer Julian Fellowes, admitted that this would include a replacement love interest for Matthew’s widow, Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery).

According to the Daily Mail newspaper on Feb 1st , casting directors at the award-winning drama had auditioned dozens of candidates for a new suitor for Lady Mary , which did help defuse the rumours that the script would see her end up with her widowed brother-in-law, Tom Branson (Allen Leech).

However, despite the many, many candidates applying for the job, it seems that they were having a hard time finding someone to fit the bill, with a production source commenting to the paper:

“Some were too dark, some too blond, some too bland — though a couple have been put on a shortlist that the producers and creative people will discuss,

“The main criteria for him is that he should be posh — and pretty.”

But now it would seem that they have found the perfect match, Tom Ellis!

Ellis, who plays Gary, Miranda Hart’s love interest in popular BBC sitcom Miranda, is currently top of the list for the role, according to the Sunday Mirror.

An ITV source reportedly told the publication: “Tom has always been popular but he has really become hot property since his role as Gary in Miranda.

“He really showed his versatility and he’s also incredibly popular with the female viewers. It was an absolute no-brainer to get him in for an audition.

“We know that Tom’s got a lot of other options at the moment but if he does get the role it will be an incredible opportunity for him. A lot of the current cast have become global superstars.

“And it is always a bit of a coup for us to attract a ­major BBC star to a flagship ITV show like Downton ­Abbey.”

Do you think that Lady Mary and Tom would make a good couple? Please leave your thoughts and comments below.

Watch an interview with Tom in the clip below:


  1. daphne on February 18, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    I am not familiar with Tom Ellis, as we have not had Miranda in Canada yet, but my choice for Lady Mary’s new love interest would be Clive Owen, if available and willing.

  2. Leigh on February 18, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    He is cute, but really he is not light and that Edwardian blond demeanor is soooooooo attractive and commanding.

  3. Kay Dallosta on February 18, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    Brilliant! Handsome and seems a lovely man. Good match, I think. Tall, dark, and handsome. Compliment Mary. Something to really look forward to after Matthew’s untimely demise.

  4. Angry downton fan on February 19, 2013 at 11:36 am

    No way omg please can this not be true!
    Lady Mary deserves someone better looking than Tom Ellis
    I love Tom Ellis in Miranda but in downton- no thanks !
    I just don’t find him suited to the role or the drama itself
    Tom Ellis raising Matthew crawley’s heir – no thanks
    I think it’s too soon for Mary to have a love interest. Lady Mary is my favourite character but she loved Matthew so much I don’t believe she would have moved on that quickly!!!!

  5. Elisabeth on February 19, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    Tom Ellis is sweet and cute, BUT REALLY! A Matthew Crawley he just isn’t. Can’t we find a handsome, blond or sandy blond gentleman? He is supposed to be an exquisite English Gentleman, let’s face it light is the way to go my dear.

  6. Blandine on March 4, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    Ellis? No way… and there is no hurry, Mary will not get married again until her son is at least 4 or 5. She loved Matthew too much to even think about a new love.

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