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Uh-oh. Maggie Smith’s eye has been a-wanderin' with the award-winning actress saying she would love to return to stage acting.

At the 59th Annual Evening Standard Awards on November 17, the Dame of our hearts told The Evening Standard (via Playbill) that her recent appearance in the theatre production National Theatre: 50 Years on Stage “was extraordinary” and, the troubling bit, “I’d love to do more.”

No. Just no. If Maggie gets too busy with non-Downton Abbey commitments, it could mean the end of her time on the show and —  dare we say it — the end of the Dowager Countess. We just had one brush with death for the Dowager in Season 4 and it was almost too much for us to handle.

We’re already wringing our handkerchiefs over if Maggie will return for Season 5 now that the show has been renewed. Last we heard, she wasn’t one of the key cast members to renew their contracts for the next season. Combine that with the fact that Maggie turns 79 next month and, you know, might like a break every once and awhile, and we’re more than a little concerned that the Dowager’s days are numbered.

Thankfully, Maggie offers us a bit of hope that she won’t be leaving quite yet, telling The Evening Standard that her agent says “I’m busy for the next year” and not with stagework.

“I would love to do more theatre work but really, I don’t get any offers,” she explains. That’s no reflection on your talent as an actress, Maggie. The casting directors are obviously huge Downton fans and just couldn’t bear to be the reason behind the Dowager’s demise.

Source: Playbill

Elisabeth Kramer is an Assistant Editor at Wetpaint Entertainment and our resident Downton Abbey expert. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!