Sunday 18 March 2018

Irish actor Allen Leech shows off his parenting skills in new season of Downton Abbey

Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

IN the 1920s, children were meant to be seen and not heard.

But the set of period drama Downton Abbey has turned into a noisy nursery according to star Allen Leech.

There are now three teeny tots on set.

And 32-year-old actor Leech says his 'daddy skills' are definitely being put to the test.

"We have a new and slightly older Sybbie this series and she is absolutely amazing. There haven't been any bust-ups yet," he joked.

"I like to think we get on quite well, although she is only 19 months old.

"My daddy skills are okay -- as long as I can hand her back to her parents when the going gets tough."

The cast also welcomed two tiny twins on set and Allen says they are exceptionally cute.

"The twins that play little baby George are absolutely gorgeous. It's weird, Downton's becoming a bit of a nursery," he mused.

Downton returns this weekend and viewers will find the cast six months after the events of the Christmas special.

The series will focus on Lady Mary mourning and is set to be a real tearjerker.

Now in its fourth series, the show is becoming increasingly popular both in Ireland, the UK and the States.

And Killiney native Leech says he's starting to realise just how many people watch the show.

"Branson's character came to the fore a lot more in season three and for the first time I noticed people were taking and asking for photos when I was out," he said.


Leech says the most bizarre fan encounter occurred when he was going through US customs.

"Going through border control the guy on the desk looked at me, looked at my passport and started keying in my details and then he just said, 'That's a very bad thing that you did to your wife'.

"Episode four had just aired in the States, where I'd left Sybil in Ireland and came back," Leech explains. "He said, 'Pregnant woman, I know you had issues, but that was a really bad thing you did to your wife.' I just laughed and said; 'You know I don't think I would have done that in real life!'"

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