Downton Abbey fans can breathe a sigh of relief, as the show’s creators have announced that there will be no major character deaths to boost ratings in season 5. Downton viewers cringed at the shocking death of Matthew Crowley in the 2012 Christmas episode. Then the writers took away Lady Sybill with Ye Olde screenwriting cliché – death during childbirth.

Julian Fellowes
Julian Fellowes says fans shouldn't get too comfortable yet.

Now there’s inside info that if the Season 5 cast should change, it won’t be because someone has decided to kick the bucket in the name of ratings. So says Lesley Nicol, who plays cook Mrs Patmore, says NO big characters will die in the next series.

She told the Daily Star Sunday: "There aren't any plans for any big characters to die this year.

"There has been such a big fuss in the past, especially with Matthew Crawley.

"I think it would be very unwise to do any more deaths because the viewers don't like them."

Downton creator Julian Fellowes, however, kept mum about the Season 5 body count.

“That’s all you know,” Lord Fellowes said for The Telegraph. “You see I only finished the last script on Tuesday.”

Lesley Nicol
Lesley Nicol is optimistic about the fate of the Downton characters.

Fellowes has said in the past that if an actor quits he has no choice but to write them off. “People don’t understand that we’re not in control of that kind of stuff, if an actor wants to leave the show,” he said. “What I’m always rather touched by is the way these people become real to the audience.”