Rob James-Collier's Downton kisses

Former 'Coronation Street' actor Rob James-Collier admits it was his idea to include a gay kiss in new ITV1 period show 'Downton Abbey'

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Rob James-Collier

Rob James-Collier

Rob James-Collier admits it was his idea to do a gay kiss in 'Downton Abbey'.

The former 'Coronation Street' actor - who plays corrupt footman Thomas in ITV1's new period drama - explained that locking lips with another man wasn't something he had been required to do before, but it fitted the scene perfectly.

He told BANG Showbiz: "It wasn't something I'd done before but it was just like any other screen kiss. It was actually my idea, it wasn't even written into the script.

"It felt like there was a moment there and I thought there needed to be something that made Thomas' fall from grace even worse. He needed to be completely humiliated."

However, the 34-year-old actor admits appearing as an "out and out baddie" in the seven-part series was a welcome challenge after playing the role of Liam Connor in ITV1 soap 'Coronation Street' for two years.

He said: "You'll see my character grow nastier as the show progresses. I've never played an out and out baddie but it was a real joy to do. I usually get cast in the cheeky chappie role and it's nice to come away from that and show a new side to me.

"I had learnt as much as I could at 'Coronation Street'. I was saturated - there's only so much you can do with one character after two years. I had to decide whether I wanted to stay there with the comfort and security of a soap or try new things. And luckily this came along."

The first episode of 'Downton Abbey' airs on Sunday (26.09.10) on ITV1.

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