downton abbey

Musician (top) among the first black actors to appear on “Downton Abbey” in a scene from season 3

*It looks like PBS’s wildly popular “Downton Abbey,” which just wrapped its third season this month, is about to introduce its first black character as part of a storyline about race relations in the1920s.

According to The Sun, producers sent casting notices out to agents seeking an actor to play Jack Ross, described as “Male, 25-30. A musician (singer) at an exclusive club in the 20’s.” The casting note adds, “He’s black and very handsome. A real man (not a boy) with charm and charisma.” Whoever lands the role should “ideally be able to sing brilliantly,” and “should be a very attractive man with a certain wow factor.”

Jack Ross will reportedly have a key role in season four, which begins filming on March 23.

Several black actors in non-speaking roles did appear on the series this season as jazz musicians performing at The Blue Dragon [see photo above], located on Greek Street in the Soho area of London. Lady Edith Crawley, Matthew Crawley and Lady Rosamund Painswick ventured there reluctantly in search of free-spirited Lady Rose MacClare after being told by a taxi driver that he had taken her to the spot. [See photo above.]