Belfast Telegraph

Downton's Michelle has Essex accent

Downton Abbey star Michelle Dockery has said she is fed-up with surprising people because she does not have a posh accent.

The British actress, 31, who has a distinct estuary accent, plays Lady Mary in the hit ITV period drama.

Michelle, who grew up in a working class household in Romford, Essex, said that she could understand why her own voice constantly shocked fans of the show.

She told the Radio Times: "I'm an actress. That's my job yet people are surprised when I don't sound like Lady Mary."

Rolling her eyes when asked about her accent, Michelle, whose mother is a care home assistant and Irish father a van driver who became a surveyor, said: "It's old news, me and my accent, but it always seems to make headlines."

Michelle, who has signed up for a fifth series of Downton, is a jazz singer as well as an actress, while Elizabeth McGovern, who plays her mother, Lady Cora, has her own band.

Michelle denied that viewers would see the pair burst into song on the small-screen but Allen Leech, who plays Tom Branson in Julian Fellowes' drama, added: "You want to know when you can expect a musical of Downton Abbey. The answer is: not just yet."

In the drama, Lady Mary's baby is called George and Dockery said of Prince George: "The day we saw the headlines with the name of the new Prince was an amazing moment, I couldn't believe it as first, but the royal couple are fans of the show, so who knows..?"

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