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Mum didn't want me to act, says Allen

Now we know how Downton Abbey star Allen Leech stays so grounded - and it's all thanks to his parents.

The Killiney native (33) has revealed how for years, his mum was so reluctant for him to become an actor that she used to introduce him as "my son, who might have been an architect".

"Until I started to get regular work, she used to introduce me like that. But now they are very supportive," he said.

"The deal was always that I could be an actor as long as I got a degree, so I got one in theatre and drama from Trinity College."

Leech said that he now gets recognised everywhere he goes - but sometimes gets strange reactions.

"Outside of the costume, when people see you, it does take them a couple of minutes to realise that it's you. It happens more when the show is on.

"I had one moment in London where I was on the Tube and it was a Monday morning and a guy got on and he looked at me and went, 'Oh my God, how are you? Good to see you!'

"I said, 'Nice to see you too' and he stared at me for a while and went, 'I don't know you at all'. And I'm like, 'No I don't think so'. 'You were on TV last night.' 'Yeah I might have been.'

"And he said, 'This is embarrassing' and turned and got off the Tube just before the doors closed."

Leech also played the role of match-maker last year after setting up his Cork pal John 'Dino' Dineen with his co-star Michelle Dockery (pictured) and the pair are still going strong after a year.

His own personal life is on a high too, given that he has a new girlfriend in the form of Sky Sports beauty Charlie Webster, who he started dating this 

And he said that being associated with such a popular TV show has opened "all sorts of doors" for him.


"It's amazing to be part of something that's so loved around the world," he said.

Asked about what's in store for his character Tom in season five, he said he's "still struggling with his beliefs" and for the old life he had with Sybil.

"It's something he still pines for. While he has status, he still doesn't have a role," he said.