Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 27 December 2014

Lancashire: I'd turn down Downton

Sarah Lancashire is back with a new series of Last Tango In Halifax
Sarah Lancashire is back with a new series of Last Tango In Halifax

Sarah Lancashire has said she is the biggest Downton Abbey fan - but she doesn't want to appear in the hit period drama.

The actress, 49, is back with another series of BBC One romantic drama Last Tango In Halifax, co-starring Anne Reid and Derek Jacobi.

But she said of her own TV viewing habits: " I am possibly the biggest Downton Abbey fan ever. I won't have a word said against it."

The former Corrie star told the Radio Times: "It's my little bit of wonderful escapism and I'm always devastated when a series ends. I go into mourning and sit and wait for it to be recommissioned."

The Julian Fellowes drama will be back for a fifth series, but Sarah said she wouldn't want to join the likes of Dame Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville and Michelle Dockery in the period drama.

"Absolutely not. I wouldn't be able to watch it if I was in it," she said.

"They got everything right from day one - the epic scale of the sets, the casting, the writing. It's clear that Julian knows exactly what he's doing."

The former Coronation Street actress recently quit department store costume drama The Paradise as the filming schedule clashed with Last Tango In Halifax, but she said she had no regrets.

"It's not a situation I've ever been in before but my commitment to each series is very different," she told the magazine.

"I'm a very essential part of Last Tango and you have to make a decision that isn't detrimental to the show. But the door has been left open for Miss Audrey to return to The Paradise, which I'm thrilled about."

She added of Last Tango: "Filming the second series was nerve-racking because we won the Bafta and with that comes expectation. We had to ignore that and go into filming as if we were starting at square one."

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