One of our favourite Downton Abbey-ers may not return to the cult ITV show.

According to The Mirror, while Maggie Smith - who plays formidable matriarch Dowager Countess of Grantham - is currently filming the hit costume drama's third series, she is yet to sign a contract for any further episodes.

And she's not the only major character facing an unlikely future.

Siobhan Finneran who plays housekeeper, Miss O'Brien; Jessica Brown Findlay who stars as Lady Sybil and Dan Stevens who plays Matthew Crawley are all yet to sign new contracts even though the show has recently been commissioned for a fourth and fifth series.

The Downton Abbey team may be notoriously guarded about the show's surprising plots, but it seems even ITV insiders are shocked that Maggie and co haven't been snapped up yet.

A source told the newspaper: "Downton Abbey has a history of major surprises, and the producers are not opposed to changing casting within the show to add to the drama.

"But it's hard to imagine the series without Maggie Smith or Dan Stevens involved in some way."

Would you still tune in to the show without Maggie? Let us know below.