Former Downton Abbey star Dan Stevens has admitted to a dramatic weight loss since leaving the programme.

The actor, who played tragic Matthew Crawley in the ITV series, told Graham Norton on his chat show that he had shed over two stone in the past few months, as well as changing his hair colour for his next role.

“I’ve lost about 30lbs since New Year, which, in British terms, is about two to three chins,” Dan revealed. “It’s for a role.”

He added: “It’s always me, just different incarnations, different roles, different costumes and different sizes.”

“As for the hair, it’s pretty much my natural colour. I went very dark for the last role but I’ll see where I go with it.”

The 30-year-old shocked Downton fans in the Christmas special after Matthew was killed in a car crash shortly after the birth of his first child.

He admitted that while it as his decision to leave the show the manner of his departure was taken out of his hands.

“It was a very difficult decision, but it felt like the right thing to do. It was good to trust my instincts and go with it,” he said.

“I knew Matthew would die, but not like that necessarily.”

Dan recently apologised to his fans for Matthew’s demise, saying: “I think what emerged is an unwritten rule that you’re not supposed to die on British television on Christmas Day.”

The actor will next be seen alongside Benedict Cumberbatch in WikiLeaks movie The Fifth Estate, which is due to open in the UK in October.

Downton Abbey will return for its fourth series in the autumn.