‘Weekend’ Actor Tom Cullen Heading to ‘Downton Abbey’


Tom Cullen, who won acclaim in Andrew Haigh's 2011 film weekend, will be joining Downton Abbey, according to Metro UK:

His character, who is tipped to be widow Lady Mary’s new love interest, is described as ‘an old family friend of the Crawleys who visits the family as a guest for a house party’.

But he may find himself a love rival in the form of dashing aristocrat Charles Blake, played by Smash star Julian Ovenden.

Other new additions to the cast include EastEnders star Nigel Harman, who is playing a valet named Green, and Dame Harriet Walter, who is taking the role of as Lady Shackleton, an old friend of the Dowager. Joanne David will make a guest appearance as the Duchess of Yeovil while Dame Kiri Te Kanawa will cameo as a soprano set to sing during her visit to the house.

Also returning will be Shirley MacLaine as Martha Levinson.


  1. hugo says

    I wonder if Mrs Padmore will be outed as the creator of Peach Melba on the occasion of Dame Kiri’s visit (as Nelly Melba?)to the house.

    Tom Cullen wins over Julian Ovenden pants down & shirts off! I always thought Matthew was a bit too vanilla, so yay for Lady Mary for – hopefully – getting some heat into her life!

  2. Thomas says

    I think Julian and Tom should have a wrestling match over Lady Mary. Naked, just to be traditional.

    Or maybe one of them will end up going for Thomas Barrow.

  3. David Hearne says

    It’s rather difficult to take the heterosexual male characters seriously on Downton. Seriously: Jimmy is supposed to be straight? How could anyone care if Matthew and Lady Mary had a lesbian love scene? I’ve even been waiting for Robert to be caught getting a massage from Thomas. The only male character I have no problem believing is straight is Andrew…. because he’s too dull to be anything else.

  4. David Hearne says


    I have no idea what “jumped the shark” means and won’t bother to look it up, I’ll simply file it alongside other hollywood blather like “push the envelope”….. but I agree that Downton while well executed has been poorly handled. They let all the story line out before it even shows on TV. There are spoilers all over the internet. They talk too much to the press while in production. And to add insult to injury they issue the new “season” in January and it’s over in February. So maybe you’re correct= maybe there simply isn’t enough to work with.

    On another note, if you get a chance to watch Brideshead in a marathon, it’s really the only way to watch it. Clean your house with it on in every room over 8 – 12 hours.

  5. lessthan says

    David, you should look up “jumping the shark.” It is the starting point of one of the most amazing websites on the internet. The phrase itself refers to the TV show Happy Days. Happy Days was one of the first TV shows that managed to go on longer than what would have been dignified. The episode that really drove that home had “the Fonz” water skiing and as proof of his coolness, actually jump a shark. Even the most hardcore fan cannot defend such ridiculousness. “Jumping the shark” now means the moment when the quality of something has decreased to the point of fandom un-defensibility.

    The website TvTropes was founded on the idea that entertainment had themes and moments that everyone recognizes, but there are no real names for them. So now TvTropes names them. If you like books, TV shows, or movies, clear four hours in your schedule and check the site out. Seriously, this isn’t spam or an ad, this is like I found out you don’t know how to change a tire. Everyone should know it, many people don’t, but learning is easily done.

    Also, I loved Weekend and may start watching Downton Abbey just to see Tom Cullen.

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