Ian McShane: I don’t watch Downton Abbey because it is badly written

Lovejoy star has some harsh words for Julian Fellowes - as well as for the cast of Strictly Come Dancing

One suspects that actor Ian McShane will be off Julian Fellowes’ Christmas Card list next month.


The Lovejoy star has said that he does not watch the Tory Peer’s ITV drama Downton Abbey because it is not well written.

In this week’s Radio Times, the actor says that even the presence of his old friend and former Lovejoy co-star Phyllis Logan is not enough to tempt him to tune in.

He says: “Yes, I love Phyllis and I’m very happy for her about Downton Abbey [she plays housekeeper Mrs Hughes]. It’s not my kind of show, but she’s such a marvellous actress. She’s good in everything.

Asked why he doesn’t like it he replies: “I don’t think it’s well written. Upstairs Downstairs was better.”

McShane doesn’t have particularly warms words for the celebrities currently dancing their hearts out underneath the Strictly glitterball either.

Revealing that he has turned the producers down he said: “They’ve asked me. I said: “Don’t be ridiculous. That’s for D-list people who want to be recognised again.”

However he does admit to liking the show: “I’ll sneakily watch it now and again though because I can’t resist.”

For the full story but this week’s Radio Times out from Tuesday, priced £1.60