‘Downton Abbey’ season 4 notes: Allen Leech and Shirley MacLaine

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Allen LeechWhile we don’t have any breaking news to share today from the production world of “Downton Abbey” season 4 we are nonetheless pleased to report on what a pair of the show’s stars have been saying and doing away from the show.

Let’s start with Allen Leech (Tom Branson), who was “gutted” earlier this week when he was unable to participate in the annual London Marathon after suffering from a leg injury. However, there was still some good news to report on this front, as the team at his charity in Centrepoint helped to raise 60,000 pounds (or over $91,000) to help care for homeless young people. The London Marathon was perhaps an even more inspirational venue than usual this year, as it was one of the first major opportunities for runners around the world to show solidarity in the wake of the attack on Boston last week.

Shirley MacLaine fancies … In going from something inspirational to a story that is just plain fun, “Downton Abbey” guest Shirley MacLaine, who will be back at some point during season 4 as Martha, recently told Seven Magazine that she has a certain affection in her heart for a certain man responsible for Mr. Bates in Brendan Coyle.

Check out her comments below, which are meant to be taken in good humor:

“I love doing Downton… I have kind of a crush on Brendan. He’s quite mysterious. You don’t really know what he’s up to… I think (creator Julian Fellowes) wanted to see if there were any cougaring (sic) sparks flying.”

The interesting thing is that MacLaine and Coyle did not have a chance to work together at all in season 3, as Martha was only around when Mr. Bates was still locked up in jail. If you want to see a pretty hilarious stage recreation of “Downton Abbey” season 4, be sure to visit the story over at the link here.

Photo: ITV

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