Downton Abbey: Would the BBC have made Lord Grantham “a bastard”?

"The BBC would probably have been a bit PC and not have helped itself and made Lord Grantham a bastard," a senior cast member tells RadioTimes.com

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As Downton Abbey prepares for its final series on ITV, a senior cast member tells RadioTimes.com about his relief that it was shown on the commercial network rather than the BBC.

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According to the actor, the BBC would not have been comfortable having a titled aristocrat as the hero of the drama and would have found a way of making him villainous in some way.

“The BBC would probably have been a bit PC and not have helped itself and made Lord Grantham a bastard,” said the performer. “It is very important the he is a good man – flawed but essentially good.”

“A lot of people have been very snooty about ITV and some people abroad even assume it is a BBC show. But it would never have worked on the BBC.”

A Downton Abbey spokeswoman said that the sentiments expressed were a “personal view”, which did not reflect the those of the makers of the show.

The hit period drama will end with a Christmas special this December, but executive producer Gareth Neame has suggested that it could have a new lease of life as a feature film.

“We’d be interested in that,” he said. “It’s definitely something we’re contemplating. It would be great fun to do – a great extension of what everyone loves about the show.

“It would take a lot of planning. We shall see… We haven’t made any plans for the show, but it is something Julian and I would be very interested to do if we can get all of our ducks in a row.”

Read more:

Downton Abbey bosses “tried to convince Julian Fellowes to hand over the reins”

Downton Abbey series 6: see the cast at a read-through for the final season

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