Julian Fellowes: Downton Abbey “ought to have an Indian character”

The ITV1 period drama's creator welcomes a multicultural mix in any future series - and says that Dame Maggie Smith is "absolutely fine"


Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes has spoken of his desire to introduce a black or Indian character to the hit ITV1 drama. 


It would be “rather nice to open it up ethnically a bit”, he said. 

When asked by the Daily Telegraph about the show featuring a more multicultural mix, the writer added: “Oh I think that’s rather a good idea. You have to work it in in a way that is historically believable, but I am sure we could do that. [The show] certainly ought to have an Indian character from that period.” 

The third series of Downton Abbey ended last night with overnight viewing figures of 8.96 million. But despite the ratings success, it seems that – aside from a Christmas special – nothing is set in stone as regards series four: 

“I would hope [there will be more] because of the response to this series, but you know [ITV] are always pretty close to their chest in terms of an actual commission. But I think I’d be surprised if there was not a fourth series,” he said. 

Fellowes also expressed the opinion that the programme had grown with each series and spoke of his pride at the way the drama has panned out: 

“For me I felt the second [series] was more solid than the first because we knew who they all were. And now we are really involved with them and that takes you forward another step.

“I am pleased with all of them really. It sounds rather smug, but I have been very happy with them.” 

He ended by reassuring fans that series star Dame Maggie Smith – whose health came under scrutiny at the weekend after it had been reported she’d been to hospital with chest pains – was in fine fettle: 


“She’s absolutely fine and going out for lunch,” he reported.