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


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


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.”

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