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Downton Abbey star reveals Matthew Goode's character's fate ahead of sequel release

Hugh Dancy appeared on This Morning to discuss A New Era

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Francesca Shillcock
Francesca ShillcockSenior TV & Film Writer
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Downton Abbey: A New Era star Hugh Dancy has revealed some intriguing details about the upcoming sequel including the fate of Matthew Goode's character, Henry Talbot, who has been noticeably absent in recent promotional material for the highly-anticipated movie. 

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The actor, who is set to portray a film maker named Jack Barber, appeared on Tuesday's This Morning to chat to Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield about his character's rumoured interest in Lady Mary – Henry's wife portrayed by Michelle Dockery – and what this might mean for the married couple.

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Holly couldn't resist teasing Hugh's storyline in the film as she asked: "There's lots of rumours about what else he might be interested in at the house and whether one of those things might be Lady Mary! What can you say? Nothing I presume?"

Hugh laughed and told the presenter: "You've said it all! How can I put it… Lady Mary stays around as he starts the process of making this film, which is incredibly disruptive… so everybody is very nervous. Lady Mary stays around to keep an eye on us and kind of by default becomes my co-producer and partner in crime, she's very efficient."

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hugh dancy premiere© Photo: Rex

Hugh Dancy will portray Jack Barber in the new Downton film

Phillip then interjected and asked: "Is her husband still away?" to which Hugh quipped: "Her husband is still away, yes. Which helps when you're making a film," prompting the This Morning hosts to burst into laughter at what Hugh was insinuating.

Fans have been keen to get to the bottom of Matthew's absence in recent trailers, teasers and official posters for the new release. After the full-length trailer dropped earlier this year, many took to social media to comment on the actor's whereabouts.

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matthew goode downton© Photo: Rex

Matthew Goode appeared in the first Downton movie

One person said: "Where's Henry Talbot though?" as a second echoed this, writing: "Ok but we need Henry Talbot too." A third nervously added: "I'm scared, I want him in the movie!"

However, it's worth keeping in mind that Matthew did not have a prominent role in the first Downton Abbey film either, only appearing towards the end of the film after his character returned from business.

Whether Henry Talbot appears or not, the romance between Mary and Jack was even hinted at in the trailer. In one short moment from the video, Lady Mary can be seen chatting with Hugh's character as he says there's "trouble in paradise", before she retorts: "You don't need me to tell you that marriage is a novel, full of plot twists along the way."

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