Jessica Brown Findlay played Lady Sybil in Downton Abbey

There I was, relaxing on the sofa, glass of wine in hand, expecting a nice episode of Downton Abbey.

And what happens?

They went and killed off Lady Sybil!

OMG!

I had been half watching the episode while leafing through a magazine only to nearly choke on Pinot Grigio myself when I looked up and saw Lady Sybil turning white.

I felt sure someone was going to jump in and perform a tracheostomy with a feather a la Dr Quinn Medicine Woman.

But no, ITV was just happy to kill off one of its best female leads in the most traumatic and horrific scenes I've ever seen on Sunday night TV.

But hats off to Downton - it was a gutsy move.

Sybil has been one of the best characters so far (barring Lady Mary, Cousin Matthew and the Dowager).

So to kill her off marks a big change for the dynamic of the show.

As Edith pointed out, it'll no longer be about the three sisters - it'll just be the two of them.

And let's face it; Edith is unquestionably dull while Mary is far less interesting now her not-so-slow burn romance with Matthew is all settled with a marriage.

But on the upside it does mean Downton will have to address a very modern issue of a single dad bringing up a young child, which should throw up some interesting storylines.

And if Lady Sybil's departure leaves too much of a hole, they can always make Cousin Matthew walk through a lake like Mr Darcy in the BBC's Pride & Prejudice - that's sure to keep the viewers coming back.

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