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Tom Cullen Cast as Lord Gillingham on Downton Abbey! Will He Be Lady Mary's New Love?

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Photo Credit: Getty Images

After the shocking (although it had been leaked by the time it aired in the U.S.) season three finale of Downton Abbey, which saw departing series star, Dan Steven’s killed-off as Matthew Crawley in a car crash, the soap has been looking to cast a new love interest for Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) for season four!

However, Mary was just left as a single mom with a newborn baby at the end of season three, so just how fast forward will the new season of ‘Downton’ go?  Nevertheless, actor Tom Cullen has been cast in the role of Lord Gillingham,  an old family friend of the Crawleys who has known Lady Mary since childhood.

Cullen announced the news on this Twitter page stating, “I can announce that I’m in the new season four of Downton Abbey. So excited. My heart is beating a little too fast.”  Cullen’s previous credits include the miniseries World Without End and Weekend, an indie film.

In addition, Shirley MacLaine is returning for season four as Cora’a (Elizabeth McGovern) American mother and there are a host of other new characters coming on to the series as well.

So ‘Downton’ fans, do you think Mary should end up with Lord Gillingham in rather short order? Grieve a lot? Or perhaps find love with Branson who lost his wife  and Mary’s sister,  and is a single dad, played by Alan  Leech? Let us know!

Leave a comment | 9 Comments


  1. janet

    March 5, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    I think Branson is adorable but, I don’t want to see him go through the Crawley girls. Mary needs to wait a while unless , the 4th season starts a lot of years down the line. I want to see her grieve for a while. I loved them as a couple. They had great on screen chemistry. This new guy I will wait until I see them together on the screen. He is cute ,and who knows .? I love Downton Abbey. The show is great and I am looking forward to season 4. Funny since I never liked upstairs downstairs at all.
    How about some more of the Bates. A baby for them would be nice!

  2. Don

    March 5, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    I kind of figured by the end of Season 4 Mary would end up with Tom Branson.

    • Rcraig

      March 5, 2013 at 3:27 pm

      She would NEVER go for Tom. A chauffeur ! She thinks too highly of herself to fall for anyone not her social equal.

      • Don

        March 6, 2013 at 2:57 pm

        He WAS a chauffeur. Now, thanks to the Dan Stevens character, he in the financial management of Downton,,and I think opinions of his lower class status will soften. Also, the fact that they both have tiny babies, will draw them together. But, we will see what my Fellowes thinks about it, next winter.

  3. bc

    March 5, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    It’s gross that shirley macclaine’s returning to abbey. she was horrid and maggie smith mopped the floor w/ her much like jennifer hudson’s live singing mopped the floor w/ the entire lip synched les miz cast. Giggles. There’s a casting call for 1 black char but all the new chars are still for all white actors only on abbey. cullen and ovenden are aristocrats. dame harriet walter portrays a new lady. joanna david portrays a new duchess. harman portrays a valet. There’s already backlash from racists who proclaim that it’s “too pc” to cast 1 black char on downton. The potential black char jack ross is described as “handsome” w/c must irk racists even more bec the char is black. Those racists can’t stand that tv shows would have chars of color and they prefer the homogeneity of only white chars. But of course any lgbt storyline w/ thomas coming out and mrs. hughes being his straight ally is “progressive” and had no backlash bec thomas. While there’s already a backlash from hollywood against downton abbey’s 1 potential char of color. Such tolerance from the tolerant crowd of hollywood! 1920s abbey should have rich moroccan and south african daughters enrolled at missionary schools to battle mary and edith. There could be chinese immigrant chars around london who form china towns.1920s had cardiff and liverpool race riots. edith could work w/ racial minorities at the editorial board of a london newspaper. There could be a new char that returns from india w/ her indian husband.

    It would be great if abbey cast jack ross. But he should not be a token char bec a lotta racial minorities are tokens on soaps. Would they ever pair jack ross romantically w/ any of the central chars who are all white? Would he only be a token made to make the white chars appear as not racist? downton abbey should have cast a lotta racial minorities. But hollywood is not good w/ writing racial minorities and abbey could probably only write only 1 char of color! hollywood writers can write for vampires and aliens portrayed by white actors but writing for people of color is difficult! The writing has been horrid on downton abbey what w/ shirley macclaine’s stupid char. Maggie smith needs some help w/ this horrid show. Only racial diversity would make me resume watching downton. The more racial diversity would be better for downton abbey!

  4. Lin

    March 6, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    I think to be realistic Mary certainly needs to wait a while before having any romance. She can have friends but she needs to be shown in mourning. As much as I like Branson, she is too much of a snob, though she likes him, to wind up with him. Perhaps they can become close friends, but no romance, please. That would be too easy and unreal. I would like to see her meet different men (in time) and see what happens. Certainly I don’t wnat her to wind up with the “right guy” in season 4, after just losing Matthew. However, ideally, I’dl ike them to make believe Matthew had not died in that accident, and replace Dan Stevens with anotehr actor.

  5. DKW

    April 13, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    Downton Abbey is the best of the best !!
    The people creating it, along with carefully chosen actors to play the parts and the staff who works on all the details for the finished product, has my highest praise.
    The casting is outstanding and lets face it folks…..this is a accurate history lesson as well as being entertaining, of how it was during those years for the upper class.
    I believe it portrays how some upper class families, as it depicts in Downton Abbey, ‘did’ care very much for their staff and their lives.
    Lets get over the ‘current’ day’s continual complaining about ‘racial’ discrimination and wake up to the fact it’s giving us a chance to see how it was back then.
    Remember ………its a ‘SHOW’ as well !!

  6. DKW

    April 15, 2013 at 9:44 am

    My advice to (bc) from their March 5, 2013 comments is :

    Downton Abbey is depicting history of how it ‘was’ back then.
    Why would they even try to change history,( which you can’t ), by casting or re writing the script of that successful show ?
    As our God given freedom in our great country……..if you don’t like a particular show, just change channels…………You might try listening to Dr. Ben Carson, who I would love to see cast in Downton Abbey as a character, but unfortunately he is busy as a successful Neurosurgeon…..

    Another choice you have is just turn the TV off and get busy cleaning your house.
    For Pete’s Sake……….get over it !!!

  7. Victoria Kocher

    May 7, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    I would like to see Mary grieve properly, however, a little interaction with a gentleman would be good. I do not want to see her with Branson, a mutual respect and love for Sybil is what holds them together, nothing else.

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Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey Movie Project Moving Forward; Projected For Production In 2018


It looks like all of those earlier reports months ago about a production being put together for Downton Abbey: The Movie, may finally becoming to fruition. Numerous items detail that motion picture project is moving forward with production slated for sometime next year.

Michael Edelstein, president at NBCUniversal International Studios, told the AP: “We are working on getting the script right and then we’ve got to figure out how to get the (cast) together. Because as you know, people go on and do other things. But we’re hopeful to make a movie sometime next year.”

Currently, the cast and writer Julian Fellowes have been on hand at the Downton Abbey exhibition which debuted in Singapore. However, some notable members of the company seemed surprised by the news including Laura Carmichael (Edith): “Well, tell my agent, because we’re still waiting to know. We’re hoping that will happen soon.”

Variety reports that an NBCUniversal spokesman confirmed the studio hopes to put the movie into production in 2018.

The Downton Abbey exhibition however, is set to travel to the United States and Australia with dates to be announced. (more…)

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Nominations were announced this morning for the 23rd Annual SAG (Screen Actors Guild) Awards for performances in motion pictures and television.

The awards ill be handed out Sunday, January 29th at the Shrine Exposition Center in Los Angeles. The ceremony will air live at 8/7c (5 p.m./PT) on both TBS and TNT.

For its sixth and final season, the British period soap, Downton Abbey once again made the finals in the Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama.  They will go up against, The Crown, Game of Thrones, Stranger Things and Westworld.  On the snub side: the widely acclaimed and highly-rated This Is Us failed to score a nomination in the category.

In addition, this is the first time that Dame Maggie Smith did not wind up with a Lead Actress in a Drama Series nomination for her performance as the Dowager Countess on Downton Abbey. (more…)

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Downton Abbey's Maggie Smith Shares Emmy Acceptance Speech; Asks Jimmy Kimmel To Direct Her To The Lost & Found To Get Her Trophy!


Leave it to the grand dame Maggie Smith to have fun with Jimmy Kimmel’s rant last night on the 68th annual Daytime Emmy about how perennial winner Smith never is on-hand in Los Angeles on Emmy night to collect her trophy when he name is called!

Smith, who has been nominated 9 times for an Emmy and has won 4 overall and 3 of them for her work as the Dowager Countess on the beloved British period soap, Downton Abbey, used social media via the Masterpiece PBS Twitter account and shared her acceptance speech on Monday, alluding to Kimmel’s last gag about her during the live telecast.

For Minnie Driver and Michael Weatherly were presenting the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series category, and when Smith was announced as the winner, and the duo were accepting the the award on Smith’s behalf, Kimmel came out from the wings and intercepted the trophy and let Smith know she has to retrieve it herself! Kimmel said, “No, no, no, no, no.  We’re not mailing this award to her. Maggie, if you want this it’ll be in the lost and found”.

Masterpiece PBS twitter shared, Dame MaggieSmith graciously accepts her #Emmy award — @jimmykimmel, please advise on the location of the lost and found! #DowntonPBS.

Smith’s acceptance speech read: “I was very astonished and pleased to win the award. I feel the Emmys has been overly generous to me. If Mr. Kimmel could please direct me to the lost and found office I will try and be on the next flight.”  She signed it, “Love, Old Maggie” (more…)

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