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Because it's Friday: Downton Abbey behind the scenes

David Smith's picture

To follow up on yesterday's post about the language of Downton Abbey, I thought I'd do a Downton-themed BIF post today. First, for Downton fans, can you guess the character played by this Downton Abbey actor?

I won't spoil the surprise, but you can find the answer in this PaperMag article, Downton Abbey Stars On-Screen Vs. Off-Screen. (On that same page you'll find an animated GIF, which I think I'm going to use in place of some email replies in the future.) 

The filming location (for everything set at Downton except the servants quarters and the kitchen) is Highclere Castle, about 100km east of London. By contrast, the fictional Downton Abbey is set in Yorkshire, about 350km away in England's north-east corner. If the architecture of Downton Abbey looks familiar, it's because Highclere was designed by Charles Barry, the architect of the Houses of Parliament.

And for anyone who hasn't caught the Downton bug yet, here's a promo from ITV (which airs Downton Abbey in the UK) which gives you a good sense of the tone. Here in the US, the first season is available on Netflix streaming, and you can purchase the second season on iTunes.


And to cap things off, here are some of the best moments from my favourite character, the Dowager Countess (played by Dame Maggie Smith):


There's lots more information at the official Downton Abbey website, too.