'Downton's Rob James Collier talks 'harrowing' gay storyline

Downton Abbey's Rob James Collier has revealed that his character, Thomas Barrow, will have a "harrowing" gay storyline in the new series of the ITV period drama. The gay under-butler will question and attempt to change his sexuality in the upcoming fifth series of ITV's period drama. Former Coronation Street actor Collier has starred in all four series of Downton Abbey, but his character's sexuality was not the focus of last year's episodes. o-ROB-JAMES-COLLIER-facebook Speaking to the Daily Mail, the actor explained: "It’s quite a harrowing storyline and I hope it is. Because if it isn’t, I haven’t done it justice. There are mornings of those scenes when you haven’t been able to sleep at night because you are so worried about how it will go. Thomas comes right up to the abyss." Meanwhile, Collier's co-star Lesley Nicol recently revealed that she turned down chances to appear on Celebrity MasterChef and Strictly Come Dancing - read more here. Downton Abbey returns this Sunday (September 21) at 9pm on ITV - and Maggie Smith will apparently be at the centre of a "grittier" plot during the course of the new series.