18 April 2012

Producers, Fans Respond to Maggie Smith ‘Downton’ Rumours

Elspeth Venable was one of the lucky ones. Although she attempted to set fire to herself — dousing her ruffled taffeta gown with a mixture of kerosene and sal volatile, then walking headlong into a lit candelabra — she survived.

Not so lucky was Winston Derwent, who gorged himself on cucumber sandwiches, crumpets, and rat poison; or Hyacinth Moncrieff, who screamed, “There’s nothing left to live for!” before leaping to her death from the rectory roof.

They are just some of the countless dozens of victims worldwide of the persistent rumours that Dame Maggie Smith will not return to the hit television series Downton Abbey. Filming on the third series is currently underway, to be telecast at the end of the year in Britain, and in January 2013 in the United States.

The latest round of suicides followed an article in the London Daily Mail that the beloved actress, age 77, had asked Downton creator Julian Fellowes to write her out of the series at the end of this season. Although a press representative for the series’ producers, Carnival Films, denied the rumours and described them as “complete nonsense,” it was too late to save Lucinda Quince, Olivia Hammermill, or Tertius Cosgrove, just three of the estimated 97 Downton suicides last week in greater London alone.

A representative for Scotland Yard confirmed that no television-related death toll had reached such numbers in Britain since actor David Tennant accidentally described himself as “the Last Doctor” in an interview with TV Times. British morgues were overflowing for at least a fortnight until that rumour was put to rest.

No comments: