Mr Carson, butler: He sang for joy when Mrs Hughes didn’t have cancer. “She is the only one who sees behind his mask of propriety,” says actor Jim Carter. “The nation is willing it to a happen.”
Mrs Hughes, housekeeper: After she refused the proposal of a farmer, “Mr Carson keeps her heart beating,” admits actress Phyllis Logan. “They have a rapport but who knows if it goes beyond that…”
Thomas Barrow, valet: “He’s always been an outsider because of his homosexuality,” explains actor Rob James-Collier. “This series he lets someone into his heart and is hugely affected.”
Jimmy Kent, footman: New boy Jimmy has set hearts-a-flutter. “He’s not really looking for love,” says actor Ed Speleers. “He takes advantage of every opportunity that comes his way.”
Ivy Stuart, kitchen maid: “Ivy fancies the pants off Jimmy,” says new cast member Cara Theobold. “He flirts back, making her think she has a chance. So she has no interest in sweet, kind Alfred.”
Sarah O’Brien, lady’s maid: The scheming O’Brien manipulates Thomas’s feelings for Jimmy. “If Downton went on for another 50 years she’s be running the country,” says Siobhan Finneran.
Daisy Mason, assistant cook: She fell for Thomas, was widowed days after marrying William, and now loves Alfred. “Ivy’s prettier and Daisy relishes bossing her around,” reveals actress Sophie McShera.
Alfred Nugent, footman: As O’Brien’s awkward nephew, Alfred has enemies, but all he wants is someone to love, says actor Matt Milne. “He falls for Ivy and tries desperately hard to impress her.”
Downton Abbey continues tonight at 9pm on ITV1