Hugh Bonneville: I don’t know whether Downton Abbey series five will be the last

The Downton Abbey star talks the new series, the end of the hit period drama and whether Lady Mary will ever choose a man...

Rumours have been circulating that Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes is poised to let the curtain fall on the hit period drama.


And while Downton Abbey fans the world over are desperate to know how much life the Crawleys have left in them, the show’s star Hugh Bonneville says he’s none the wiser.  

He hasn’t seen any scripts for series five, he doesn’t know when he will see them and he has no idea whether the upcoming season will be the show’s last.

“I’ve heard that I’ve signed on for three years, I’ve heard that I’ve left, I’ve heard that it’s running for ten years, so you tell me,” he told at last night’s National Television Awards. “I have no idea of whether series five will be the last but I’m just going to enjoy it and hope I don’t get killed off in the first scene.” 

Bonneville, who plays Downton Abbey’s patriarch Robert Crawley, is likely to find out what will happen to him in his first scene fairly soon, though. “We start shooting on the tenth of February,” he said, “and we have read-throughs a few days before that, so I presume I’ll get scripts in the next few days.” 

As for the fate of his character, and the future of the drama itself, “it’s all in the lap of the gods, those gods being Julian Fellowes,” Bonneville told us. “It’s all coming out of his brain, as to where the stories go. He’ll know when the time is right to call it a day.”

Rumours that the show might reach it’s final conclusion soon seem strange when the “rattling good saga” continues to be such a success – “it seems to be growing around the world and loved in each country that it goes to. It hasn’t flopped terribly in any nation yet.”

Plus, as far as we’re concerned, it can’t possibly end yet – we still haven’t found out who Lady Mary is going to choose… 

“She can barely choose what to eat in the morning so… I don’t know whether she’ll choose,” said Bonneville. “It’ll be fun to see. Let’s watch and find out.” 

Watch our exclusive interview: