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: