Dan Stevens Confirms Departure from Downton Abbey

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With rumors swirling concerning his status on Downton Abbey Season 4, Dan Stevens has come out and confirmed: he is leaving the ITV smash.

Dan Stevens as Matthew

“We were always optioned for three years,” Stevens tells The Telegraph. “And when that came up it was a very difficult decision. But it felt like a good time to take stock, to take a moment. From a personal point of view, I wanted a chance to do other things.”

Stevens has portrayed Matthew Crawley on the British drama since its premiere, and with Downton Abbey Season 3 scheduled to air in the U.S. on January 6, we can report that the actor WILL play a role on the 2013 Christmas special.

How will he be written out? Downton Abbey viewers at least have plenty of time to worry about that. (NOTE: If you have seen the Christmas special or read about what happens, be a good citizen and do not spoil it for others.)

Concludes Stevens:

"It is a very monopolising job. So there is a strange sense of liberation at the same time as great sadness because I am very, very fond of the show and always will be.”

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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