Love has blossomed between these two Downton Abbey stars...

Gemma Strong

It's an upstairs downstairs romance that would have caused quite a scandal in the Crawley household. Downton Abbey's Laura Carmichael, who played Lady Edith, has reportedly started a new romance with co-star Michael Fox, who appeared as footman Andrew Parker.

The couple are said to have bonded on the set of the period drama over the past year, and are now dating.

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Downton's Laura Carmichael and Michael Fox recently started dating

"Laura and Michael struck up a great friendship during filming last year," a source told the Sun. "They started off as mates, but quickly realised there was chemistry there and decided to start dating.

"It's very early days but they are really enjoying each other's company. The best part is that since the show ended they have had a lot more time to spend with each other. Before that, most of their time together was at work."

Laura appeared on Downton as Lady Edith from the very first episode, while Michael joined the cast in the penultimate series to play one of the family's servants.

The award-winning ITV series came to an end in December after a hugely successful six series. And fans were pleased to see Lady Edith get her happy ever after. In the final episode, she tied the knot with Bertie, much to her parents' delight, and became a Marchioness.

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Downton Abbey came to an end in December after six hugely successful series

In a recent interview with the Telegraph, Laura revealed how the chance to appear in Downton came about. The star admitted that when she left the Bristol Old Vic theatre school, she didn't even have an agent. "There were a couple of really tough years, on several fronts, when I did temping jobs and wondered when the phone call would come," she said.

"But the (Downton) casting director had seen me in a drama school production and I was asked to audition; all the girls in the waiting room were entirely unlike each other, because we were deliberately chosen on account of our ‘otherness’.”