Possible spoilers for who's returning to Downton s4

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It was just announced that there will be a fourth series and an extravagant Christmas special for the popular costume drama. But now it seems Downton Abbey will have to move on without its male romantic lead, as Dan Stevens is reportedly not returning to the hit TV series.

The 30-year-old actor, who plays Matthew Crawley, is expected to be a part of the Christmas special and the first episode of the new season, but will then leave the show.

A production source told the Sunday Express of the actor's departure, although this is yet to be confirmed by ITV.

The source told the newspaper: 'Dan Stevens returning to the series. He will probably do the first episode of the fourth series, but that will be it.'

It is not yet clear how the actor will leave the show, but he is said to still be a part of the two-hour Christmas special.

The special episode will see the Grantham family travel to Scotland for a holiday, leaving most of their servants at home.

In the last series his character received a surprise inheritance which guaranteed his future at the Downton estate.

His relationship with Lady Mary has been the main plotline throughout the series, and his departure also leaves Michelle Dockery's future in the show uncertain.

This is the second star the popular show will have to lose, after Jessica Brown Findlay, who played Lady Sybil, quit earlier this year to pursue a Hollywood career.

It left writer Julian Fellowes in a pickle, and he recently revealed he only wrote the tragic ending of Lady Sybil after it was revealed the actress would not return to the show.

Meanwhile, Dan has also been leaving his mark Stateside, where he is currently performing in Broadway show The Heiress alongside Jessica Chastain.


Yawn, Daily Fail. But still, I think it's too specific to not have a grain of truth. It's probs at the very least a ploy to get more money.