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Downton Abbey love tangle revealed

Downton Abbey star Rob James-Collier has revealed his character, cold-hearted valet Thomas, is to fall for the new boy who arrives on the staff.

It will be part of a complicated love tangle among the servants in the new series of the hit period drama, with heartbreak and scandal on the cards.

Scheming and suppressed ... Rob James-Collier as Thomas Barrow  in <i>Downton Abbey</i>.
Scheming and suppressed ... Rob James-Collier as Thomas Barrow in Downton Abbey

Scheming Thomas's suppressed homosexual feelings are aroused once again by the arrival of handsome new footman Jimmy Kent, played by Ed Speleers.

James-Collier revealed: "Thomas takes him under his wing and looks after him. Knowing Thomas and knowing he has a preference for a certain type of person in life, I think Jimmy fits that bill perfectly, if you know what I mean."

Out of the house but not out of the picture ... Brendan Coyle as valet John Bates in <i>Downton Abbey</i>.
Out of the house but not out of the picture ... Brendan Coyle as valet John Bates in Downton Abbey

In the first series viewers saw Thomas make a pass at visiting Turkish diplomat, Kemal Pamuk, who was courting Lady Mary.

Speleers said of his new role: "Jimmy is a very ambitious man. He's vying for the position of first footman.

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"He comes into it as a bit of a mystery man - no one really quite knows who he's into. But as the series develops he gets himself into a couple of sticky situations.

"He actually realises that in order to succeed he's got to keep in with Thomas, because Thomas is directly above him and a valet is what Jimmy aspires to be. He doesn't know what the viewers know - and have known for the last two series."

Flirty new scullery maid Ivy (Cara Theobold) takes a shine to Jimmy and is also being pursued by another new footman Alfred (Matt Milne).

Meanwhile, poor maid Daisy, played by Sophie McShera, who was left a war widow at the end of the last episode, falls head-over-heels for footman Alfred, who only has eyes for Ivy.

McShera said: "It is like a love hexagon - there's a lot going on.

"It's not even a competition - no one is interested in Daisy. Daisy's fuming. They all fancy Ivy."

Downton Abbey Season 3 begins on the Seven Network at 8.30pm on Sunday, February 10

PA

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