Bonneville's Downton predictions
Published 11/03/2011 | 08:32
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.