With every breathy sigh of "Mr. Bates," Anna -- the housemaid in the hit Masterpiece Theater series "Downton Abbey" -- became the envy of women everywhere. Fans in the UK and across the pond can relate to her longing for John Bates, the much-put-upon valet on the show.
Stoic, brooding and led by a fierce moral code and devotion to his wife Anna (the one and only Mrs. Bates in our opinion), Mr. Bates has sent a legion of "Downton Abbey" fans into swooning spells across the world. But it seems like finding a lady to court, let alone marry, is much harder for Brendan Coyle, the man behind the character.
In a recent interview with Britain's the Telegraph, Coyle told the paper in a spoiler-heavy interview that at 48, he was ready to settle down and find the one.
"I'm going to be 50 soon," he said. "I'm single, I'm looking for something meaningful. By the time you've been single for quite a long time, you can get quite specific about what you can and can't put up with."
It's a search he's been on for quite some time. Coyle explained to the Daily Mail last year:
"The right person, time and place just hasn’t happened -– yet. It’s something I want. Through my 30s into my 40s, I’ve gone from one long-term relationship to another, so I’ve spent the last few years taking stock. I don’t know if it’s a good or bad thing, but only now am I truly ready for a relationship."
Sadly, a May-December romance between Coyle and his co-star Joanne Froggatt can't be -- Froggatt, 32, married long-time beau James Cannon last week.
We know how hard it is out there, Brendan, so we took the liberty of suggesting a few single ladies who may also be looking for love. Maybe one of these actresses can get their agents to set up a "meet cute" with the dashing actor. (The rest of us will just have to wait until season three of Downton Abbey premieres on January 6 to see Coyle again.)
Vote for the lovely lady you think would be the ideal match for Mr. Bates -- or suggest someone else in the comments below.