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Just two more seasons of Downton Abbey Says Star Alan Leech


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E! reports:


Season five of Downton Abbey doesn't premiere in the U.S. until January but if you really want to know what happens it's not too hard to find out because it's already been airing in the U.K.


"I, along with [series creator] Julian Fellowes, have been great champions of the idea of having the show out there at the same time," Alan Leech, who plays Tom Branson on the show, told me last night at BAFTA Los Angeles' Jaguar Britannia Awards. "I don't know why it's not. I'm going to be shot for saying that and right now PBS probably probably has a sniper's rifle on me, but it doesn't make sense in this day and age."


Leech also revealed when and why he thinks Downton should come to an end. "In my heart of hearts, I can't see it going more than two more," he said. "I think the period of time we want to tell, we're coming to the end that us as actors we can keep playing these characters.


"Maggie Smith turned to me on one of our last days of filming this season and said, 'I must be 196 years old by now. What's in the water here?'" Leech recalled in an amazingly accurate impersonation of the acting legend. "I said, 'I don't know, Maggie,' and she goes, 'It's ridiculous. I should have been dead years ago.'"


We'll probably be seeing a lot of more of Leech during awards season. He plays a spy in The Imitation Game, the Oscar-buzzy drama about Alan Turing the real-life Brit (played by Benedict Cumberbatch) who broke the Nazi code and saved countless lives, only to commit suicide years later after he was prosecuted for being gay.


"I think everyone who came to this project came to it because we wanted to tell the story of Alan Turing and his life," Leech said. "He's a man everybody should know. He created the first digital computer. Why don't we know him?


"The fact is because of homophobia, he was put on a course of treatment [chemical castration] and took his own life," he continued. "He should be celebrated...It's wonderful now that we have the opportunity—whether there's Oscar buzz or not—to talk about that man."

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