'Downton Abbey' Season 4: Tom Ellis shortlisted as Mary's new love interest

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tom-ellis-downton-abbey-lady-mary-love-interest.jpgBy now, "Downton Abbey" fans, you've may have started the grieving process over the lovable Matthew, whose life was taken in an automobile accident during the Season 3 finale. But the show is moving on full speed.

"Downton" creators began auditioning actors to play a new love interest for Lady Mary earlier this year, since the show starts filming Season 4 this spring. And now U.K. newspaper the Mirror says it knows one of the men on the shortlist.

Tom Ellis, of BBC sitcom "Miranda," is reportedly one of the top choices to play Mary's new man. He's a 33-year-old Brit who gained a legion of female fans from his work on the U.K. comedy series.

A source at ITV, the company that produces "Downton" in the U.K., tells the Mirror, "Tom has always been popular but he has really become hot property since his role as Gary in Miranda. He really showed his versatility and he's also incredibly popular with the female viewers. It was an absolute no-brainer to get him in for an audition."

"We know that Tom's got a lot of other options at the moment but if he does get the role it will be an incredible opportunity for him," the source continues. "A lot of the ­current cast have become global superstars. And it is always a bit of a coup for us to attract a ­major BBC star to a flagship ITV show like Downton ­Abbey."

U.S. viewers might also know Ellis from the BBC series "Merlin" or the 2001 Joaquin Phoenix movie "Buffalo Soldiers."

What do you think, fans? Does he seem like a good suitor for Lady Mary?
Photo/Video credit: BBC