Dame Maggie Smith: I try not to see Downton Abbey

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IT IS a revelation befitting the sharp-tongued Dowager Countess of Grantham.

But viewers of hit ITV series Downton Abbey will be surprised to hear Dame Maggie Smith, 78, who plays the hard-faced aristo, has never watched a single episode of it.

In an interview for the US TV show 60 Minutes, she said she might tune in after she leaves the show. Asked whether she was proud of the programme, she replied: “I was just pausing because I’ve never actually seen it. I don’t sit down and watch it. No, I’ve never watched it.”

Presenter Steve Kroft pointed out that she was possibly “the only person in England” who had not seen it. But self-
confessed perfectionist Dame Maggie replied: “Well, that’s 
a record then isn’t it, of some sort?

“I will look at it when it’s all over, maybe, because it’s frustrating – I always see things that I would like to do differently, and think ‘why in the name of God did I do that?’”