Upstairs Downstairs lesbian plot sparks complaints

Emilia Fox and Alex KingstonA tabloid report claims the BBC has had some complaints over the forthcoming lesbian plot in Upstairs Downstairs even though it hasn’t aired yet.

The Mirror claims the BBC has received a “handful” of complaints from viewers about the lesbian romance that will feature in tomorrow (Sunday) night’s episode of Upstairs Downstairs. The lesbian romance between Dr. Blanche Mottershead (Alex Kingston) and Lady Portia (Emilia Fox) will be the central storyline of tomorrow’s episode but some viewers are already unhappy about lesbianism being a feature of 165 Eaton Place.

According to The Mirror one viewer wrote online ‘It really is a pity that the BBC has to push the boundaries to raise its ratings’. The BBC has been promoting the episode with trailers teasing the lesbian plot. Writer Heidi Thomas had previously teased the lesbian plot before the series returned saying ‘There‚Äôs a real whiff of scandal in the air when this relationship becomes apparent.’

However, while some may feel the romance is part of the BBC’s drive to sex-up the period drama the original series of Upstairs Downstairs – which ran on ITV between 1971 and 1975 – featured a homosexual storyline in the very first series. Footman Alfred (George Innes) ran away with the unfortunately named Baron Klaus Von Rimmer, a visiting German, in the fifth episode; An Suitable Marriage.

The Baron was being lined-up to marry Elisabeth Bellamy (Nicola Paggett), the daughter of Richard Bellamy (David Langton) and Lady Marjorie (Rachel Gurney), but caused scandal when not only was he revealed as a German spy but he had also been having an affair with Alfred and had eloped with him.

You can find out more about the original Upstairs Downstairs here >>

Upstairs Downstairs continues tomorrow night (Sunday) on BBC One at 9pm.