Julian Fellowes admits Downton Abbey criticisms hurt

Downton AbbeyAward-winning writer Julian Fellowes has admitted some of the criticisms of his ITV drama Downton Abbey upset him.

The Edwardian drama was a critical and ratings hit for ITV when it aired on the broadcaster last year. It’s ratings surged week-on-week with figures topping 10 million viewers and critics heaping praise on the drama. Downton Abbey had an all-star cast led by Hugh Bonneville, Maggie Smith and Penelope Wilton. While the viewers took the drama to their hearts some were quick to criticise mistakes – such as some use of language and music.

“I think I behaved rather stupidly about the criticisms. 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… When there was a television aerial in 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!” – Julian Fellowes speaking to The Daily Telegraph

Downton Abbey will return for a second series and a Christmas Special later this year. The second series picks up events following the declaration of War, as seen in the series one finale, and will explore the effects of the Great War on the Crawley family and their servants. Julian Fellowes has also penned a new drama about the sinking of the Titanic for ITV to mark the 100th anniversary since it sank.