Downton Abbey star Joanne Froggatt, 43, expecting her first child

Joanne Froggatt pictured at the Into Film Awards on Tuesday (Getty)
Joanne Froggatt pictured at the Into Film Awards on Tuesday (Getty)

Downton Abbey star Joanne Froggatt revealed she is expecting her first child.

The British star, who played maid Anna Bates in the beloved ITV period drama, joyfully revealed the news while cradling her baby bump at the Into Film Awards on Tuesday.

The 43-year-old looked radiant in a red dressed as she placed her hand above her growing bump while posing for photographers at the event in London.

Froggatt hasn’t shared the identity of her child's father, but in August 2023 Joanne was pictured with a man named Mark, though little is known about their relationship.

At the time, it was reported that Mark was introduced to to her circle of friends last year, after he accompanied her to a party at The Greyhound Italian restaurant in Marylebone.

Froggatt pictured at the Into Film Awards on Tuesday (Getty Images)
Froggatt pictured at the Into Film Awards on Tuesday (Getty Images)

A close source to her disclosed: “Joanne is really enjoying her time with Mark.”

It was the first time the TV star was linked to someone following her split from IT consultant James Cannon in February 2020.

“We’ve actually been separated for a little while,” she shared in an interview with The Telegraph at the time. “I’m looking to the future… I’m just going to embrace this year and see what happens.”

Froggatt’s pregnancy news comes after it was revealed that she is set to reprise her role in Downton Abbey.

The actress played Anna Bates, Lady Crawley's maid, in the series from 2010 until it finished in 2015, and continued her role in the first two films.

News of the third film was unintentionally revealed by actress Imelda Staunton, who announced that there would indeed be a “third and final” film.

The showrunners later confirmed the speculation, announcing that there would indeed be a “third film in the beloved Downton Abbey franchise.”

However, despite producers' efforts to reunite the cast, some stars will be unable to return.

A source told The Sun: “This will be welcome news for fans of the drama, because Anna was a particular favourite but none of the cast members were guaranteed to return.

“Although the producers have tried to reunite most of the Downton stars, not all of them have been able to commit, even if they did appear in the first two films.”

It is reported that Staunton, who portrayed Lady Maud Bagshaw, will not be returning due to other work commitments, as she stars in Hello Dolly! at the Palladium theatre in London.

The latest edition of the hit period drama will see the return of Dominic West and Oscar nominee Paul Giamatti as well as Michelle Dockery, playing the captivating and clever Lady Mary Talbot.

The Holdovers star Giamatti is reprising his role as Crawley matriarch Cora’s (Elizabeth McGovern) brother Harold Levinson, who appeared in a Downton Abbey Christmas special on ITV.

While The Crown star West will play actor Guy Dexter following his appearance in Downton Abbey: A New Era as the love interest of the servant Thomas Barrow (Robert James-Collier).

The third film is written by Downton Abbey creator and Oscar winner Lord Julian Fellowes and directed by Simon Curtis.