Lesley Nicol on the future of Downton Abbey and how she’d like Mrs Patmore’s story to end

The ITV period drama star addresses the rumours that series 6 could be the last and explains how everyone involved thinks Downton is a once in a lifetime show

Downton Abbey star Lesley Nicol knows absolutely nothing about the rumours that Downton Abbey series six is set to be the last

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“Traditionally we’ve gone year by year to commission a new series so I know there are rumours but I don’t know anything. I absolutely don’t,” she told us at last night’s Radio Times Covers’ Party. 

And even if it was, she says, she’d be one of the last to find out: “I can promise you actors will be the last people in the world to know. That’s true. They won’t tell us first.”

If series six does end up being the last, Nicol has a clear idea of what she doesn’t want for her character Mrs Patmore: “I don’t want her to be on her own, because that would be too sad. I wouldn’t like that.”

Instead she fancies a little romance for the unlucky-in-love cook: “I’m pushing it all the way!”

Whenever Downton Abbey does come to an end, there’s no denying the cast – as well as its millions of fans – will be devastated, says Nicol. 

“It’ll finish one day, whenever that is it will be quite difficult.”

“I’ve been doing this job for 40 years. You’re not going to get more than one of these a lifetime – and what I really love is that the whole cast knows that too, the youngsters as well, they know this is not normal.” 

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Downton Abbey returns for series six later this year