Belfast Telegraph

Coyle reveals MacLaine lunch date

Downton Abbey star Brendan Coyle has revealed he and Shirley MacLaine have formed a firm friendship on the show.

The 79-year-old Hollywood actress previously confessed she had a crush on the actor, who plays valet John Bates in the hit ITV period drama.

Brendan revealed Shirley took him out to lunch when she joined the show, as their characters didn't have any scenes together in the last series, because Bates was in prison accused of murdering his ex-wife.

Brendan, 49, confessed: "It's very rarely that I get starstruck with actors, no matter how big they are, it's very rare for me. Footballers yes, actors no.

"Because we weren't going to have any scenes together, because I was stuck in prison, she wanted to meet me for lunch. And my memory of that lunch is me sitting there doing 'It's Shirley MacLaine! It's Shirley MacLaine!' like an idiot.

"But we went to LA to do some promotion work and she came down and we just got on like a house on fire. We were all a bit more relaxed, and she's just great. She's seen it all. She's gone from Broadway to Hollywood royalty. There's no airs and graces, there's no front.

He added: "She's invited me to her ranch... I love Shirley."

Downton fans were devastated when Matthew Crawley was killed off at the end of the last series, but Brendan promised: "This is our best series yet. The storylines are phenomenal and I'm really grateful. And I'm not dying in a car crash, no."

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