Downton Abbey to be honoured with special Bafta award

ITV’s period drama, a global hit which stars Maggie Smith and Michelle Dockery and ends later this year, will feature in a backstage tribute show

ITV’s hit period drama Downton Abbey will be honoured by Bafta with a special award at a tribute night to mark its final series.

The Julian Fellowes show, which has never won a Bafta despite winning numerous awards in the US, will come to an end with its sixth series later this year.

The drama, which starred Maggie Smith, helped to launch the careers of Michelle Dockery, Lily James and Dan Stevens. It has been a hit around the world and regularly pulls in 11 million viewers on ITV.

The tribute, which will go backstage with the cast and crew, will be recorded on 11 August and broadcast on ITV later this year.

Bafta chief executive Amanda Berry said Downton Abbey had been an “extraordinary series that has flown the flag for British drama since 2010”.

Downton Abbey executive producer Gareth Neame said: “As Downton Abbey moves towards its conclusion with the final season this autumn, I speak for the entire cast and crew when I say how honoured we are that the academy will recognise the show with this special award.

“Not only is Downton a much-loved show in Britain, it has had huge success in both the US and right around the world, waving the flag for Britain and our creative content and that’s why the Bafta recognition means so much to us all.”

Earlier this year, Neame said there was “nothing particularly confusing or unusual” about Bafta not recognising Downton Abbey.

“Bafta has tended to recognise things for cultural and creative reasons and tended not to recognise shows with big audiences and where revenue has been generated,” he told the Guardian.

“It’s very often the smaller thing that didn’t get a large audience or something that had a big cultural impact. There’s really nothing wrong with that.”


John Plunkett

The GuardianTramp

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