Poor Cousin Matthew! Little did he know that his happiness would be cut short in a car accident. (Courtesy Radio Times.)

Recently publications and social media have been a twitter because they finally heard it from the horse’s mouth: an official apology from Dan Stevens for the death of Downton Abbey's Matthew Crawley.

“I’m sorry about that!” Stevens said in a Radio Times interview. "I didn't have any say in the manner in which he went. Ultimately, it was in the hands of Julian [Fellowes] and the producers.”

Technically speaking he was apologizing for ruining Christmas for British viewers. Downton Abbey’s season finale, in which cousin Matthew met his demise in a car crash, aired on Christmas day for them. Can you an imagine watching such a downer on what is supposed to be a blissful holiday!?

While Dan has moved on to other projects, his Downton departure has dogged him. In almost every interview he has had to address his reasons for leaving and sort of apologize to viewers. I’ve speculated on why he left the show and what that meant for his character.

Here is a short compilation of some of his explanations and sort of apologies.

1.) He was following his gut: “It excited me to follow my instinct which said this is the right time. It’s just a nice feeling to have when you can trust yourself. I had a great three years. I had a blast. I have some very fond memories. The cast were lovely. It was just time.” - from the Daily Mail

2.) A man’s got to do what a man’s got to do: "It's nice that people care, I suppose, about the show, but I had to do what I had to do. - from the Sydney Morning Herald

3.)He was ready to pursue other roles: “It is a very monopolizing job. So there is a strange sense of liberation at the same time as great sadness because I am very, very fond of the show and always will be.” - from The Telegraph

Dan recently released the film “Summer in February” which he filmed while still working on Downton Abbey. (See the preview below.) His cousin Matthew look is still intact. Do you plan to see it? What do you think of his reasons and sort of apologies for leaving?