Lily James (Lady Rose) leaving Downton Abbey & Helen Flanagan joins Holby City

downton abbey christmas 2013

downton abbey christmas 2013

With the filming for the fifth series of Downton Abbey well underway you will be sad to know that one of its main cast members will be leaving at the end of it – But don’t panic, there will be no repeat of 2012’s Christmas Day massacre for her.

Lily James, who plays Lady Rose in the hit ITV period drama has announced her decision to leave the show after the current series has finished filming.

Details of Lady Rose’s exit are not known at this time, but show creator Julian Fellowes has insisted that she will not be killed off the way that Dan Stevens character Matthew Crawley was in the 2012 Christmas Day Special, and has even hinted that they hope to entice the actress back for this year’s Yule Tide festivities.

According to the Daily Mail newspaper, James’ decision to leave the show is in part to her commitments to the new Disney live-action, big-screen Cinderella, in which she will star as the title role alongside Helena Bonham Carter as the fairy godmother, Game Of Thrones’ Richard Maddon (Rob Stark) as Prince Charming and Cate Blanchett as Cinderella’s stepmother.

The filming for Cinderella is set to begin at around the same time as Downton Abbey prepares for its sixth series next spring, meaning that the two would clash, something that a representative of the star has told the paper could not happen, explaining:

helen flanagan

“It’s a very important film for Disney, and you can understand them wanting their leading lady to be available to promote it!”

Meanwhile Lily isn’t the only ITV actress to change her on-screen job title, former Coronation Street star Helen Flanagan has landed herself a role on BBC hospital drama, Holby City!

The actress and model, whose Corrie character Rosie left the Street to take part in a reality show, is set to play a new, lazy agency nurse, and the Sun newspaper quotes her as saying of her new role:

helen flanagan

“I’m really pleased to be working in a show I really enjoy.”

Did that sound like a bit of a dig to anyone else?

Meanwhile Holby’s exec producer Oliver Kent has this to say on the new casting:

“We’re delighted to have Helen on the show. She’s going to ruffle some feathers.

“So it’s definitely an episode to watch.”

Helen is set to make her Holby screen debut this July, we can just hear Sally bragging about it in Underworld already!

Watch an interview with Helen Flanagan in the clip below: