Maggie Smith hints at Downton Abbey exit, says the Dowager Countess 'must be 100 by now'

The actress said she 'certainly can't keep going'

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The Independent Culture

Maggie Smith has said her acerbic-tongued character may not survive another year of Downton Abbey.

The 80-year-old actress hinted that she may leave the award-winning ITV drama after the next series.

In an interview with The Sunday Times, she said: “They say this [series] is the last one, and I can’t see how it could go on. I mean, I certainly can’t keep going.”

She quipped: “To my knowledge, [Violet] must be 110 by now. We’re into the late 1920s.”

The Oscar-winning actress is best known on the show for her damning one-liners as the Crawley family matriarch, the Dowager Countess of Grantham.


Smith said that while she loved being part of the drama, she found it hard to cope with the new levels of fame that came with the show.

“One isn’t safe after doing Downton. What’s sad is I’ve gone through my whole life without any of that. I could go round galleries and things on my own and I just can’t do that now.”

It is not known yet if Downton Abbey will continue beyond its sixth series.

The Lady doth protest too much: Maggie Smith has said she's not sure how her character is surviving aged 110

Julian Fellows refused to give any hints in a recent interview with the New York Times.

“It’s not really my decision. I don’t own Downton Abbey now. NCB Universal owns Downton Abbey. So I could walk away, but I wouldn’t walk away. It’s too much my baby.

“It won’t go on forever – I’m not a believer in that. But I can’t immediately now tell you where the end will be.”

Downton Abbey has broken records in the US to become the most-watched drama in the history of channel PBS.

The series’ pull across the pond rather than its home-grown fan base is expected to dictate whether it will be recommissioned for a seventh series.

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