Downton Abbey’s Rob James-Collier has said that his character, Thomas, will fall for a new member of staff in season three of the period drama. James-Collier plays the scheming valet in the series who is set to fall for new footman Jimmy Kent played by Ed Speleers.

He said "Thomas takes him under his wing and looks after him. Knowing Thomas and knowing he has a preference for a certain type of person in life, I think Jimmy fits that bill perfectly, if you know what I mean."

In series one Thomas had an affair with the Duke of Crowborough (Charlie Cox) and also made a pass at Turkish envoy Kemal Pamuk (Theo James) who later died in Lady Mary’s bed.

Speleers said of his character "Jimmy is a very ambitious man. He's vying for the position of first footman.

"He comes into it as a bit of a mystery man - no one really quite knows who he's into. But as the series develops he gets himself into a couple of sticky situations.

"He actually realises that in order to succeed he's got to keep in with Thomas, because Thomas is directly above him and a valet is what Jimmy aspires to be. He doesn't know what the viewers know - and have known for the last two series."

The new scullery maid Ivy, played by Cara Theobold also falls for Jimmy.