Downton Abbey's first black character will be a jazz singer, played by Gary Carr. Carr, who is 26 and has previously appeared in Death In Paradise and Bluestone 42, will play Jack Ross in series four of the hit ITV drama.
In casting notes revealed in February, the then-unnamed character was described as "very handsome [ ...] with charm and charisma".
Last year Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes said he wanted to "open up the show ethnically" and that the introduction of a black character would lead to storylines about race relations in the 1920s.
Carnival Films' managing director, Gareth Neame said Ross's addition "will bring interesting twists to the drama which we can't wait for viewers to see".
The new eight-part fourth series will air on ITV this autumn and there will be a feature length episode on Christmas Day 2013.
Carr will be joining new cast members Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Tom Cullen, Julian Ovenden, Nigel Harman, Joanna David and Dame Harriet Walter, as well as series regulars Hugh Bonneville, Maggie Smith, Michelle Dockery and Jim Carter. Shirley MacLaine will also return as Martha Levinson.
Props to the showrunner for not making excuses when he was asked about it (like some showrunners who shall not be named) and for following through. I've been watching Bluestone 42 and find Gary Carr attractive on it, but not so much in the pictures.