Although their romance would never fly in the Crawley household, Laura Carmichael and Michael Fox found love on-set. The Downton Abbey actors – she plays upstairs heiress Lady Edith and he plays the downstairs footman, Andrew Parker – bonded while filming the series's final season and are now 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 realized 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 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 seasons. Fans were pleased to see Lady Edith get her happy-ever-after. In the final episode, she married Bertie, much to her parents' delight, and became a marchioness.
In a recent interview with the Telegraph, Laura revealed how the chance to appear in Downton came about. The star said 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’.”