Downton Abbey Series 4: Lady Mary’s love interest is cast, but is it Tom Cullen, Julian Ovenden or former EastEnder Nigel Harman?

After months of searching it would seem that bosses at Downton Abbey have finally found a suitable actor to play a new love interest for Lady Mary, but with three new male actors being cast, the question remains which one will be Mr Right?

Bosses at Downton Abbey confirmed earlier this year how, after the untimely death of Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens), his widow Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) would be finding a new male companion in the fourth series, which has just begun filming.


The search was on from then to find someone deemed suitable for the role, with reports flooding back that no such candidate could be found, especially after the rumours that Miranda star Tom Ellis was to be cast were dismissed when he took on the role of Victor Frankenstein in a new US horror series, Gothica.

But now it would seem that they have finally found a new man for Mary, but with not one, not two but three dashing gentleman reportedly joining the cast, the question remains which one will catch the widow’s eye!

Tom Cullen

Earlier reports this month suggest that Lady Mary’s new suitor is to be Lord Anthony Gillingham, an old family friend, who has been cast as Tom Cullen, but now that Lord Anthony is to be joined by his good friend Charles Blake to be played by Julian Ovenden, maybe the mother of the new Downton heir will her pick of the aristocrats!

Julian Ovenden

Julian Ovenden

And if those two options weren’t tempting enough, it would seem that the addition of yet another gorgeous man to the already eye pleasing cast may leave the widow totally spoilt for choice!

Former EastEnders star Nigel Harman, who played the son of Dirty Den and the step-brother-come-husband of show veteran Sharon (Letitia Dean) before his character was killed off 6 years ago, has reportedly joined the cast of Downton for series four!

It has not yet been confirmed as to which part Harman has been cast, or even if he is to reside upstairs or down, but we think that it won’t really matter amongst all the Downton girls, family and help alike, as his charismatic nature and smouldering good looks are bound to make him a firm favourite across the house regardless of his class!

However, despite the prospect of future happiness, Downton executive producer, Gareth Neame insists the journey ahead of Mary, and the rest of her family, will be a tough one.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Neame explained:

“She has a long journey ahead of her before she can go on with life,

“But the hope is, with the support of her family, the servants and new characters she will be able to.

“We all know that when it comes to romantic storylines, particularly in the hands of an amazing writer like Julian, that the ‘will they, won’t they’ is much more interesting than a couple when they are married.

“We wanted to keep Dan [Stevens] in the show, but there is a great lesson in what can seem to be the worst thing can actually be a brilliant opportunity.

“Now we have the added impetus of what on earth is Mary going to do next?”

Downton Abbey is due to return to ITV in the UK in September.

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