Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 27 August 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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It's difficult to deal with a highly competitive colleague. Every time you submit work, they try to find ways to outperform you. Although you have no interest in pitting your talent against theirs, this other person thinks very differently. Ignoring them won't be possible. A good way to disarm this pest is to invite them out for coffee. Describe what you've observed and ask for a truce. Irrational people are often thrown off balance when their behaviour is addressed in a direct manner.More