Julian Fellowes has hinted there may be another death in Downton Abbey this year.
Leslie Nicol, who plays cook Mrs Patmore, left fans of the ITV period drama feeling reassured when she told the Daily Star recently: "There aren't any plans for any big characters to die this year."
But creator Lord Fellowes, who has just finished writing the fifth series, told the Daily Telegraph the cast of the show may not be as safe as they think.
Asked if Leslie's claim was true he teased: "That's all you know. You see I only finished the last script on Tuesday."
Fans of the show have been left devastated in previous years, when much-loved characters such as suffragette Lady Sybil and romantic lead Matthew Crawley were killed off.
Leslie said: "There has been such a big fuss in the past, especially with Matthew Crawley. I think it would be very unwise to do any more deaths because the viewers don't like them."
But Lord Fellowes insisted if actors, such as Jessica Brown-Findlay and Dan Stevens, choose to leave the show, it is not his decision which characters get the chop.
He said: "People don't understand that we're not in control of that kind of stuff, if an actor wants to leave the show. What I'm always rather touched by is the way these people become real to the audience."