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Downton Abbey's Penelope Wilton: If Isobel Crawley were alive today she'd work for the Guardian

Wilton says her character is a "leftie" who would be editing the Guardian women's page

Published: Tuesday, 29th October 2013 at 12:20 pm

The media world – and in particular those folk at the Guardian – seem very tickled by Radio Times’ scoop this morning about Downton Abbey.


No, we haven’t uncovered plans to kill off half the Earl’s family and set up an anarcho-syndicalist commune in the grounds of Downton.

Our story concerned a much subtler form of left wing agitprop: Penelope Wilton is convinced that her character Isobel Crawley is a “leftie” who, if she were alive today, would be working as the Guardian women’s editor.

Wilton said she would like her character if she met her in real life and told us in this week’s magazine: “She bites off more than she can chew sometimes, makes statements she can’t fulfill. But she’s also quite brave, independent and forward-thinking. In fact, she’s like a real person, with all their faults.

“Julian Fellowes has written a very interesting woman, who is probably led by her heart quite a lot of the time but who nowadays would probably be doing something a bit more fulfilling because women didn’t have jobs like they do now. She would be a career woman and would probably be editing The Guardian women’s page. She would be doing something forward-thinking… she’s a bit of a lefty. I like her very much.”

But Wilton, herself twice divorced, hints that Isobel won’t find love – in this series at least.

Asked if she – or the show – go on and on? “I doubt it. I don’t think anything can go on and on. Everyone would be bored stiff with it.”



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