Allen Leech: there will be more shocks in Downton Abbey series four

And the actor who plays Tom Branson hints that Julian Fellowes might "go out on a high" sooner rather than later

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Earlier this year Julian Fellowes hinted that if his new American series The Gilded Age took off, he may have to relinquish his writing duties on Downton Abbey. Ominous news, indeed…

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So new comments from Downton’s Allen Leech – who plays Lady Sybil’s widower, Tom Branson – may come as a relief to the showrunner’s army of anxious fans. The actor revealed Fellowes and his hit show have a bond that can’t be broken after all.

Speaking to RadioTimes.com at last night’s Olivier Awards, Leech passed his own judgement on Fellowes’ rumoured departure, saying: “I think what Julian said is until Downton’s gone, he won’t go.”

But while that news may come as a relief to fans of the show, Leech speculated on Downton’s future, hinting that its creator intends to bring it to an end while it continues to enjoy success. “I don’t know how long Julian will want to keep it going. I think he’ll want to go out on a high.”

As we pondered on that, our informant went on to tease the upcoming fourth series, which is currently being filmed at Highclere Castle and Ealing Studios. So, what can we expect from Fellowes’ illustrious pen?

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“The scripts are brilliant this year – absolutely great and there are going to be more shocks. It’s Julian Fellowes’ writing – there’s going to be a lot more drama. I think they’re going to blow everyone away. It’s very exciting to have new people in and those storylines are very exciting as well.” Only a few months to go, folks.