Hugh Bonneville: Anyone who thinks Downton’s Isis storyline is political is a “complete berk”

Downton Abbey actor Hugh Bonneville has spoken out about rumours that the death of Downton's dog Isis is related to the emergence of militant group Islamic State

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Downton Abbey’s loyal pooch Isis has had quite a bit of attention lately. 

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The yellow labrador, who has been seen by the side of Lord Grantham in many an episode of the hit ITV period drama, has been written out of the show, breathing her last in Sunday’s episode after Robert discovered that she was suffering from cancer. 

But since she was first noted to be looking “listless” a couple of weeks ago, fans have wondered if there is a reason for Isis’ departure. In fact, speculation has been rife that the dog’s demise is down to the fact that she shares her name with the extremist militant group Islamic State – also known as ISIS – which is responsible for a number of brutal beheadings in Syria and Iraq over the last few months. 

Downton star Hugh Bonneville, who plays Isis’ owner Robert, has had enough of these theories, though, and has spoken out, saying anyone who genuinely believes them is “a complete berk”. 

Posting on his official Facebook page and website, Bonneville said: “To clarify recent speculation, the labrador that appeared in Series One (1912-14) was a dog called Pharaoh. From Series Two (1916-1920) onwards, the labrador has been a bitch named – in keeping with the Egyptian theme – Isis.

“Anyone who genuinely believes the Series 5 storyline (1924) involving the animal was a reaction to recent world news is a complete berk.”

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Downton Abbey concludes on Sunday at 9:00pm on ITV