“No plans for Upstairs Downstairs to return” says BBC

The Edwardian drama, starring Keeley Hawes and Ed Stoppard, won't get a third series after poor ratings

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There are no plans for Upstairs Downstairs to return to television, the BBC confirmed last night.

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Despite a bright start with 7.7m viewers, the Edwardian drama, which stars Keeley Hawes and Ed Stoppard, failed to attract big ratings across its six-part second series. It ended in March with lukewarm critical reviews and just over five million still interested in the affairs of 165 Eaton Place.  In contrast, ITV’s Downton Abbey continued to pull in big ratings for
its second series, and a third run is currently being filmed.

The demise of the show may have come as a surprise to the BBC after a stellar first series, which saw between eight and nine million tune in for all three parts over the Christmas period in 2010. 

“From Call the Midwife to Birdsong and The Syndicate, 2012 has been a great year for original British drama on BBC1 but at this stage there are no plans for Upstairs Downstairs to return,” said the BBC in a statement.

Taking to Twitter, one of the show’s stars, Neil Jackson, who played Harry Spargo, said: “Such a shame. I have just heard that the BBC will not be making any more Upstairs Downstairs.

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“I loved the show and will miss it greatly. Not good enough viewing figures I guess…”