Gary Carr has been announced to play the first black character in ITV’s popular period drama Downton Abbey.
26-year-old Carr will play a “charming and charismatic” black jazz singer Jack Ross in the new series to be broadcast this autumn.
Carr, who is best known for his role as Fidel Best in BBC crime drama Death in Paradise, has also previously appeared in Afghanistan army comedy Bluestone 42 and ITV’s detective drama Foyle's War.
Last year, Downton’s creator and producer Julian Fellowes revealed that he was planning to introduce a black or Indian character, in order to “open the show up ethically”.
Carr will join the ranks of beloved Downton actors Maggie Smith and Irishman Allen Leech in the fourth series, along with a host of new faces including Tom Cullen, Julian Ovenden, Nigel Harman, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Dame Harriet Walter and Joanna David.
Another new face joining the cast is former EastEnders actor Nigel Harmon who will play a new valet called Green, who has a shady past.
On the new addition of Carr’s character in the series, Carnival Films’ Managing Director, Gareth Neame said, “We are delighted to introduce another fantastic, dynamic character to Downton Abbey. His addition will bring interesting twists to the drama which we can’t wait for viewers to see in series four”.
The Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning period drama will return this autumn for an eight-part series followed by a Christmas special.