EastEnders has done it, Coronation Street has done it, even Doctor Who has considered it (and dismissed it) – but what could a Downton Abbey live episode look like? One cast member thinks he has the answer…
“I was thinking the other day, wouldn’t it be remarkable if we could try and achieve what people sometimes do with live episodes, and try and do a live Downton Abbey,” series star Kevin Doyle (who plays hapless valet-turned-footman Molesley in the series) told the crowd at the Cheltenham Literature festival.
“Can you imagine one of those dinner scenes? It’d be absolute carnage, wouldn’t it?”
In fact, thanks to Channel 4 series Time Crashers (which featured an episode where celebrities had to cater a Downton-period lunch in real time) we can just about imagine the food disasters of a live episode – and they’re no trifling matter…
Doyle was speaking at the event alongside Downton Abbey executive producer Gareth Neame, fellow co-stars Raquel Cassidy and Michael Fox, costume designer Anna Robbins and Downton tie-in author Jessica Fellowes, and went on to discuss how he dealt with the pressures of being in such a popular series.
“You try and treat it like any other job, to be honest with you,” Doyle said. “I think all of the hoopla around the show, that kind of takes care of itself, and that’s something other.
“We just turn up, like we would for any other job, and do our best. And thankfully, we have brilliant support. We have the best art department, the best costume designers, the best crew…the best in every department. And that makes our life so much easier.”
He concluded: “You know, you turn up, you do your best, and you’re surrounded by brilliant people. So we’ve got nothing to complain about.”
Downton Abbey’s last series is on ITV on Sunday nights at 9.00pm