Downton Abbey’s Brendan Coyle – “We know when the show is going to end”

In an interview in the new issue of Radio Times, the actor who plays Mr Bates also muses on his character’s capacity for murder


“I can pretty much say all of [the cast] know when Downton is going to end,” says Brendan Coyle in an exclusive interview in the new issue of Radio Times.


“This is a show with a finite life. If we bring this into the 50s, it’s Emmerdale. Though I really like Emmerdale…”

Coyle’s character Mr Bates is currently in prison having been found guilty of his first wife’s murder – although whether he’s been rightfully convicted remains the central mystery of Downton.

“If you think it’s ambiguous now, it gets more ambiguous,” warns Coyle. “Bates has been in the Boer War… he would have killed a lot of people. Does that mean he can kill his wife? What does it do to you?”


Get the new issue of Radio Times, on sale now, to read the full interview with Brendan Coyle, in which he also discusses stardom, politics, snobbery and his relationship with Downton creator Julian Fellowes.