Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

Bonneville's Downton predictions

Hugh Bonneville says Downton Abbey has some unlikely fans - including his own son

Hugh Bonneville has said he never expected Downton Abbey to be such a hit.

Despite roles in Notting Hill and Bonekickers, the 47-year-old actor's fame was boosted immeasurably by his performance as the Earl of Grantham in the ITV show, which proved a runaway success in the UK and America, where fans clamoured for - and will duly receive - a second series.

"I didn't predict it would be such a hit - who could, really?" he said.

"The time I realised the effect it was having was when I was in the playground at my boy's school and a kid came up to me and said, 'I don't like what that Thomas is doing, what happens next week?'."

A more unlikely fan of the show is Hugh's nine-year-old son Felix.

"Some of it went over his head, but he completely got it, and it made me realise that not only did it strike a chord with different types of grown-ups, but it was appealing to young people too. That's not happened in my career before, so it's lovely," added Hugh, who next stars in BBC Four comedy Twenty Twelve.

:: Twenty Twelve begins on BBC Four on March 14.

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Your Horoscopes by Russell Grant

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Peace and quiet will help you recover from a busy social life. Although you love attending parties, these engagements can take a toll on your health. Set aside a few hours in your busy schedule for solitary pursuits. Taking a nap, reading for pleasure or luxuriating in a hot bath is strongly advised. You've lost touch with your spiritual side. Take this opportunity to reconnect with it. You'll be surprised to learn how much you enjoy your own company.More