Dan Stevens is still sorry for how he left 'Downton Abbey'.

The 'Beauty and the Beast' actor left the popular TV drama in 2012 - when his character Matthew Crawley was killed off in a car accident - and Dan revealed people are still upset about it.

The 34-year-old star, who quit to forge a Hollywood career, told the Sunday Mirror: ''I'm still apologising to people now.

''The way Matthew went was out of my hands - but it was rather shocking. There were some very upset people and I've had to apologise to a lot of people over the past four years.

''But I take it as a compliment that Matthew was so loved on the show.

''I've done a lot since then though - so hopefully people are seeing what I have been up to and are beginning to understand why I wanted to move on.''

Dan recently spoke of his joy at getting to take on one of Disney's most famous characters, The Beast.

He said: ''It was all done by CGI. It was motion capture, puppeteering, the suit... and then the face was done separately using a different technology.

''So when I was on set, I was on stilts in a big muscle suit covered in Lycra. Everything else looked gorgeous, Emma Watson was beautiful, the sets were incredible... and there's me just sweating away!

''And over the months I've seen it emerge - the guys at ¬Disney putting every digital hair on my digital face.

''To portray one of the great characters from great fairytales and bring it to life was amazing.''