Sunday 22 September 2019

Downton's Allen Leech and wife reveal pregnancy on red carpet

Allen Leech and Jessica Blair Herman attend the
Allen Leech and Jessica Blair Herman attend the "Downton Abbey" World Premiere at Cineworld Leicester Square
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 09: Allen Leech and Jessica Blair Herman attend the "Downton Abbey" World Premiere at Cineworld Leicester Square on September 09, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Joe Maher/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 09: Allen Leech attends the "Downton Abbey" World Premiere at Cineworld Leicester Square on September 09, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Joe Maher/Getty Images)

Downton Abbey star Allen Leech has revealed that he's expecting his first child with his wife as they posed up together on the red carpet.

Alan, who plays Tom Branson in the historical drama series, and his wife, actress Jessica Blair Herman, showed off her baby bump as they posed together at the premiere for the new Downton Abbey movie.

Arriving at London's Leicester Square, Jessica looked stunning in a figure-hugging gold sequin gown.

She gently cradled her bump as she stood with her husband, who looked handsome in a sharp tuxedo.

The couple, who tied the knot earlier this year, opened up about the happy news.

Allen first met Jessica at the Entertainment Weekly SAG Awards after-party three years ago, where they also danced the night away after Sunday night's ceremony.

"I approached Jessica, who at the time, I think you were dancing with the girls from Orange Is the New Black, and I saw you dancing," he told PEOPLE.

"A friend of mine, Tom, we were about to leave the party and being Irish and having two rubber arms, he said, ‘Do you want one more drink?' And I said, ‘Yeah, okay,’ went in, ordered, turned around, saw this vision in a velvet dress and said, ‘Tommy, I’m going to dance with that girl.’

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LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 09: Allen Leech and Jessica Blair Herman attend the "Downton Abbey" World Premiere at Cineworld Leicester Square on September 09, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Joe Maher/Getty Images)

The couple exchanged vows in California's Santa Ynez Valley with his tv co-stars Michelle Dockery and Dan Stevens in attendance, and Rami Malek was also present.

Jessica, a producer and actress, told Hello! earlier this month, she knew her husband was The One straight away, "As soon as I met him, there was a sense of ease and comfort, that I knew marriage would be uncomplicated and beautiful with him."

Hit British television series "Downton Abbey" is to arrive on the big screen and the makers are feeling uncharacteristically nervous.

Driven by fan demand, the aristocratic family and their servants return with a movie set around a royal visit to the vast Grantham country home.

"When something's been a big, big hit on television and you make a movie, there is a kind of onus that the movie should satisfy those people who loved the show ... I think I was aware of that and conscious of it," creator Julian Fellowes, who wrote the screenplay for the "Downton Abbey" movie, told Reuters at the world premiere on Monday.

Most of the original cast, including Hugh Bonneville (Lord Grantham), Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary) Jim Carter (butler Mr Carson) and Maggie Smith as the crusty Dowager Countess, reprised their roles for the movie, which opens in much of Europe on Sept. 13 and in the United States on Sept. 20.

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LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 09: Allen Leech attends the "Downton Abbey" World Premiere at Cineworld Leicester Square on September 09, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Joe Maher/Getty Images)

The television series, set in the early 20th century, ran from 2011-2015 and won numerous awards for its portrayal of the quintessentially British stiff upper lip.

Elizabeth McGovern, who plays Lady Grantham, said on Monday she was particularly nervous about making the movie "because I didn't want to destroy the affection that people have for the show."

Carter said he hoped the movie lived up to the expectations of fans. "It's been driven by the fans really, this film. In the three years since the TV series finished, every time we talk to someone it's always been, 'Is it going to be a film?'"

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