Belfast Telegraph

Emotional return for Jean Marsh

Upstairs, Downstairs star Jean Marsh has admitted she got tearful revisiting the show's famous town house.

The period drama, about the lives of the Bellamys of Begravia and their servants below stairs, is back after 35 years for a new three-part series.

Jean, who returns as housemaid Rose, begins the series with her character wandering through the town house after it has stood derelict for six years.

She said: "I can't think about coming back without feeling tearful, not bad tearful but just emotional. The past is there, exquisitely recreated, and it's startlingly upsetting to see the house where I lived for five years, and was Rose for 35 years, looking a mess."

The glossy new three-part series picks up in 1936 when new owners Sir Hallam Holland (Ed Stoppard) and his wife Lady Agnes (Keeley Hawes) make a fresh start in the home.

Jean, now 76, also urged viewers to "gloss over" the fact that in real time she is 35 years older, but for her character, only six have passed.

She points out she "didn't age in the original series".

"We just jogged along and somehow 25 years passed," she laughs.

:: Upstairs, Downstairs begins on BBC One tonight (Dec 26).

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