Downton Abbey star Dan Stevens hinted in September that the third series of the show might be his last so that he could pursue a career in Hollywood.

We closed our ears to the thought. Reports that he won’t be reprising his role as Matthew Crawley in the fourth series have been greeted with shrieks of “What?! I can’t imagine Downton without him!” from fans.

The Sunday Express quotes a source as saying: “Dan Stevens isn’t returning to the series. He will probably do the first episode of the fourth series, but that will be it.”

ITV has yet to confirm or deny whether the star will be departing.

It’s understandable that the loss of Matthew Crawley, the handsome, dashing and charming lawyer, is going to shake up fans.

His love affair with, and eventual marriage to, Lady Mary was a gripping on-again/off-again storyline.

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