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'Downton Abbey' drama adding first black character

UPI News Service, 02/27/2013 

A black actor is being sought to play a musician in Season 4 of the 1920s-set British costume drama, "Downton Abbey," The Sun reported.

Jack Ross, the show's first black character, will be introduced as part of a storyline about race relations in the time period.

Casting notes sent out to actors' agents this month described Ross as: "Male, 25-30. A musician [singer] at an exclusive club in the 20s. He's black and very handsome. A real man [not a boy] with charm and charisma," The Sun said.

The right actor should "ideally be able to sing brilliantly."

"Overall, he should be a very attractive man with a certain wow factor," the notes said.

Created by writer-producer Julian Fellowes, the award-winning "Downton Abbey" stars Maggie Smith, Penelope Wilton, Michelle Dockery, Brendan Coyle, Jim Carter and Hugh Bonneville. Production on Season 4 is to start March 23.

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