Downton Abbey writer Julian Fellowes opens up about the future of ITV drama

Julian Fellowes discusses Downton Abbey with Alan Titchmarsh

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Downton Abbey writer and creator Julian Fellowes joined Alan Titchmarsh on a new episode of Love Your Weekend on ITV to speak about the success of the drama and also delved into how he became a writer. Touching on the success of Downton Abbey, Julian revealed the future plans he has in store for the series and joked about saying goodbye to the characters one too many times.  

After touching on his early career, Alan moved onto Downton Abbey and jokes: “Do you think Downton is going to go on, can we encourage Maggie Smith to be 156 before she stops.”

Julian replied: “To be honest, I have said goodbye to those characters so many times now it has become a habit!

“I mean the end of the fifth series I thought was the end, the end of the sixth series I thought was the end, now there have been two movies who knows.

“When do we start on the musical? I don’t know, I mean, they have served me well, you know, I feel I invented a world that a lot of people got a lot of fun out of it.”

Alan continued: “Is it a world you still enjoy disappearing into, do you still get pleasure out of being with those people?”

Julian replied: “Yes, you know you get fond of them, they’re all your children,” to which Alan interjected and said: “What about killing them off, is that hard?”

“Killing them off is hard,” Julian revealed: “Yes, I mean, the audience always thinks you’ve done it wilfully.

“You know, I come in on some tyrant ‘Off with his head’, but it isn’t, of course, it’s the actor saying it’s the end of my three-year contract and I’ve got a play on Broadway.

“The trouble is, a servant can get another job there is no problem with that, they go off, and they work for Lady so and so instead, and that’s fine.

“But a member of the family who was never prepared to be seen again for them it’s the grim reaper, there is no way around it.”

Touching on the second film, which is set for release in March, Julian said: “I’m pleased with it actually, I think it works pretty well.

“It’s a feel-good evening, and I don’t know about you, but I could use a bit of feel-good right now, and you know there’s a kind of fun in getting the club together again.

“Because it’s been a long time, particularly the young ones, their careers have changed entirely over this period.”

Speaking on whether it was hard to get everyone back together again, Julian teased he thought it was difficult, but he didn’t have to do any of that.

“The fact that it’s possible at all must mean there is a certain enthusiasm which cheers me up, you know!

“I love the feeling they all enjoyed it, I hope so, of course, you don’t enjoy every moment of anything, but I hope overall it’s been a happy show, and I think it has.”

Julian recently opened up about his neurological disorder that causes involuntary and rhythmic shaking.

Before he continued to talk to Alan about Downton Abbey, he thought he should address the reason he was shaking as many people think he is either terrified or drunk.

“Happily, I am neither, but I have this thing called an essential tremor which makes you shake, it’s very tiresome and not at all essential if you’ve got it.

“But it’s worth talking about a little bit,” to which Alan praised his ability to continue writing and not let it affect his work process.  

 Alan Titchmarsh Love Your Weekend airs Sunday at 10am on ITV.

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