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James “Jimmy” Kent[1] is a footman who joins Downton in 1920 shortly after Sarah O'Brien's nephew Alfred Nugent. Ivy Stuart takes a fancy to Jimmy,[2]and so does Thomas Barrow. Thomas at one point walks in on Jimmy (perhaps aroused) when he was shirtless, surprising him.

Jimmy, the second footman, is ambitious. O'Brien takes advantage of Jimmy's ambition after Thomas bullied her nephew. Whether she knows of Thomas sexual orientation or simply suspects it, O'Brien urges Jimmy to stay close to Thomas due to his work experience and him being the lord's valet. Since Thomas is attracted to Jimmy, Thomas gladly takes him under his wing.[3] Jimmy feels uncomfortable with Thomas' behaviour towards him but, initially, O'Brien dispels his concerns and encourages him to stay close to Thomas.

Jimmy previously worked as footman to the Dowager Lady Anstruther, and has a "natural air of confidence and grace" that Alfred does not have, and "takes the role of first footman, as a natural right, a bone of contention." Mr Carson insists he go by his proper name instead of his nickname upstairs.

One night when Jimmy is asleep, Thomas sneaks in and kisses him, thinking he is not asleep, but Alfred catches him. Jimmy is angry at Thomas for what he has done, leaving Thomas devastated. After being encouraged to do so by O'Brien, Jimmy demands that Thomas be sacked and given no reference and threatens to inform the police of Thomas's actions if Mr Carson doesn't do so, but is later persuaded to let the matter drop. In order to placate Jimmy and to get him to agree to work with Thomas in future, Lord Grantham informs him that he had been made first footman, much to the suprise of Mr Carson.

Behind the Scenes

  • Jimmy is portrayed by actor Ed Speleers.

References

  1. This link: http://tv.uk.msn.com/drama/downton-abbey-series-three-spoilers-what-we-know-so-far?page=6 confirms that Jimmy's surname is Kent.
  2. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/downton-abbey/9485702/Downton-Abbey-love-triangle-to-shake-up-life-downstairs.html.
  3. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/downton-abbey/9485702/Downton-Abbey-love-triangle-to-shake-up-life-downstairs.html.
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