July 7, 2011


Julian Fellowes: Lord and master of Toff Television: With his 'Downton Abbey’ set to return, a contrite Julian Fellowes tells Jusith Woods of his regrets at letting pernickety viewers get the better of him. (Judith Woods, 06 Jul 2011, The Telegraph)

“I think I behaved rather stupidly about the criticisms,” he says. “I allowed them to irritate me, but really they were a tribute to how much the nation took Downton to their hearts. There was also an assumption in the media that the complainant was automatically correct and we were wrong, which was frustrating.” Quite so – the conservatory in question dated back to the Edwardian era and the first printed usage of “boyfriend” was in 1889.

“When there was a television aerial in a shot, as there was once, I was happy to hold my hands up, but I expended a lot of energy getting agitated about accusations that such-and-such piece of music wasn’t released until 1922, when in fact it was being played in 1910. Or the butler should have been in uniform when they came out of uniform in the Regency period – I mean, just shut up!”

Fellowes, 61 – a clubbable, hearty, high church Tory in mandatory Vyella shirt and Harris tweed jacket – regrets coming across as such a churl and hopes to enter the forthcoming Downton Abbey fray in a more relaxed frame of mind. He understands now that audiences gripe because they feel intensely involved with and proprietorial towards Downton, even if they have a peculiar way of showing it.

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Posted by at July 7, 2011 6:04 AM

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