Downton Abbey is moving on!
Welsh actor Tom Cullen has joined the cast as Lady Mary's (Michelle Dockery) new love interest—in the wake of the shocking death of Matthew (Dan Stevens)—for the hit period drama's fourth season, PBS confirms on their website.
Cullen will play Lord Gillingham, an old family friend of the Crawleys who has known Mary since childhood.
"I can announce that I'm in the new season four of Downton Abbey," Cullen confirmed on Twitter. "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.
Other newbies joining the successful series in season four are Dame Harriet Walters as an old friend of the Dowager Countess (Maggie Smith), Dame Kiri Te Kanawa as a guest who sings in the house, Julian Ovenden as aristocrat Charles Blake, Nigel Harman as Green, a visiting valet, and Joanne David as the Duchess of Yeovil.
"The addition of these characters can only mean more delicious drama, which is what Downton Abbey is all about," Masterpiece executive producer Rebecca Eaton says in a statement.
Executive Producer Gareth Neame adds, "Downton Abbey has seen many great characters visit the house over the years and we couldn't be more thrilled to welcome the new faces that will be joining the regular cast of Downton Abbey in Season 4. We hope audiences will be as excited about them as we are."
Not enough Downton goodness for you?
Well, ITV, the British production company behind the series, released this photo of Lady Mary and baby George, which is the first official look at season four.
"Downton Abbey series four finds Lady Mary mourning her husband Matthew, who died six months earlier in a tragic car crash. Matthew had just visited his wife and new baby George in hospital and was returning to see his family when his car overturned killing the heir to Downton," ITV says on their website. "Will Mary find happiness again in the new series of Downton Abbey, which will be back on our screen in the autumn."
What do you think of Lady Mary's new man? Sound off in the comments!