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The very first black character has been introduced to hit show Downton Abbey – and creator Julian Fellowes hopes it will open the floodgates for other shows to follow suit. 

The popular drama returned on September 22 with the appearance of a sharp-suited jazz singer Jack Ross, played by Gary Carr. 

But while his presence is a bold move given the show’s historical context, 64-year-old Fellowes believes it is necessary – because the black community need to see more positive role models on TV. 

 

New face: Gary Carr is charming jazz singer Jack Ross in series four of Downton Abbey
New face: Gary Carr is charming jazz singer Jack Ross in series four of Downton Abbey

‘I think the world has been very unjust to black people,’ he told The Sun. ‘They have had a very rough time. If I was growing up now, I would want to see some winners among that group.

‘I would want to see some positive role models who are getting things done.’

The smooth jazzman Ross is a step in the right direction, Fellowes believes we are already starting to see positive changes for British actors of West Indian and African descent in the cinema. 

That change, Fellowes believes, is easily reprosented by Naomie Harris, who was introduced as the new Miss Moneypenny in Skyfall, currently the highest grossing James Bond film of all time.

Smooth: Gary Carr makes an appearance as Jack Ross in Downton Abbey
 Gary Carr makes as Jack Ross in Downton Abbey