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Michelle Dockery and Allen Leech say a romance won't happen with their 'Downton' characters

Michelle Dockery of the PBS Masterpiece TV series,

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Michelle Dockery of the PBS Masterpiece TV series, "Downton Abbey," poses for a portrait during press day at The Beverly Hilton on Tuesday, July 22, 2014, in Beverly Hills, Calif. Season five of the period drama debuts this fall in the United Kingdom, and this winter stateside. (Photo by Casey Curry/Invision/AP)

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. - Michelle Dockery and Allen Leech of "Downton Abbey" say Cupid's arrow is not headed for their characters.

While talking to a TV Critics' panel Tuesday, the actors said they find it "very funny" some fans are hoping for a romantic pairing for in-laws Lady Mary Crawley and Tom Branson.

Both characters are widowed and have become confidantes in their grief.

"Their friendship has really grown," said Dockery, who reminded that at one point her aristocratic TV alter ego couldn't fathom the idea of having a chauffeur marrying her sister.

In season five of the British drama, premiering Jan. 4 on PBS, that bond will strengthen as they work to preserve their country estate.

"They're after the same thing for 'Downton.' Sustainability," said Leech. "You definitely get the idea they get together on a united front with the idea of making sure 'Downton' is going to be around."

It's not all business though, says Dockery, who says they're also "both looking for love."

"But not with each other," quipped Leech.

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Online:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/downtonabbey/

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