Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Leech: Branson not ready for love

Allen Leech says his Downton Abbey character isn't ready to find love again

Downton Abbey star Allen Leech hinted widower Tom Branson could be fending off some unwanted attention in the new series of the hit show.

The Irish actor plays Tom, who was formerly the family chauffeur in the hit period drama, before he eloped with Lady Sybil, and after she died in childbirth has stayed on at Downton Abbey with his baby daughter, helping Lord Grantham as the estate manager.

In the Christmas special, one of the new maids tried to kiss Tom, but Allen insisted he wasn't ready to move on.

He revealed: "I think he's very much reeling over the death of his wife, so I think it will take a while for him to find love again."

Tom is still struggling to find his place among the servants - who were once his friends and colleagues - and the family - who were once his employers.

Allen said: "It's still a struggle. I think it's going to constantly be a struggle for him.

"And one of the great joys of playing him is when I do scenes with Jim Carter who plays Carson - we always have fun about the fact that he doesn't really fit in. And that's part of his charm as well that he is there and he's still struggling trying to make it work for the sake of his daughter."

Allen was looking dapper at the Olivier Awards in London, sporting a flamboyant spotted bow tie with his dinner jacket.

But he revealed: "I'm not allowed to tie my own bow ties at work, because apparently I don't do the right period one!"

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