Downton Abbey Series 3 – Sophia McShera and Lesley Nicol discuss kitchen life for Mrs Patmore and Daisy.

by Anna Howell

In the last series of Downton Abbey we saw Mrs Patmore persuade Daisy to marry William on his death bed, which she did, but was thrown into a bottomless pit of guilt following his death.

This situation seems to have given Daisy the encouragement, with a little help from her late husband’s father, to speak up and demand what she thinks she is entitled to.

Still very much at the beck and call of Mrs Patmore, Daisy is granted a promotion to assistant cook, but with no one coming in to replace her, it would seem that this position is in title only.  That is, however, until Ivy arrives.

“Ivy is a young Yorkshire lass,” explains Cara Theobold, who plays her.

“She previously worked as a Maid of All Work for a shopkeeper in Malton and then her mum put her up for the job wanting her to better herself and work at the glorious Downton Abbey.  She got the job as the new kitchen maid, so she is essentially doing Daisy’s old job.

This means that she is now in Daisy’s firing line:

“Ivy is just your typical young girl, very curious and enjoys meeting people but gets bashed down a bit by Daisy.  She is the kind of girl who couldn’t possibly understand why anyone wouldn’t like her.”

Speaking of what the future holds for the unlikely friendship between Mrs Patmore and Daisy following this new appointment, Lesley Nicol, who plays Mrs Patmore, and Sophie McShera, who plays Daisy, had this to say:

“Things have changed in the house,” explains Nicol.

“We have new people coming into the kitchen, so I have a new maid, Ivy.  Mrs Patmore sees it as part of her job to get her in and up to speed.  But complicates it is that she doesn’t tolerate bullying – though people may say she is one herself.  So if she sees elements of that happening from Daisy or anybody else towards Ivy she wills tamp on it.  I think she is very protective of her little gang.  It is only her who is allowed to shout!

Nicol explains that in this series viewers will see an interesting plot line involving Mrs Patmore and Mrs Hughes:

“You see Mrs Hughes and Mrs Patmore more in a relationship than they have ever been before.  They started a bit at logger heads and yet she becomes her mate really.  To have scenes with somebody of a similar age is different, yes.  It is nice to play.  That is what is lovely about Julian’s writing.  He recognises that people are more than one thing, and he develops them, gives them lots of layer, like we all have.”

Sophie McShera, who plays Daisy in the hit show, had this to say of her characters future in series three:

“She was promised a promotion, she begged and begged for it, and she starts series three wondering why that hasn’t happened yet.  She is a little bit annoyed, shall we say.  In fact, basically she starts acting like a total bitch!”

Like a stroppy teen might, Daisy instigates her own form of protest.  Like a tired mother might, Mrs Patmore puts her fingers in her ears and hopes it will pass.

“Mrs Patmore is an infuriating character who just ignores the whole thing.  And that really works – but obviously for Daisy it makes her so much more annoyed.  She’s really trying to assert herself as this young woman who should have a place in the house.  And nobody seems to be listening.”

Add to that the introduction of a rival in the form of Ivy and the new footman Alfred, who immediately turns her head and Daisy is not in the happiest of places.  Her reaction?

“She does this thing where she sort of tries to be really bossy to Ivy.  It’s because she is emulating how she feels she would be treated in the same position.  So she does a bit of Patmore style bossy booting!  And she enjoys it.  She’s playing this part and she relishes bossing Ivy about a bit as there is a lot of bitterness there – because Ivy is prettier and everyone fancies her and somehow Daisy is still bottom of the ladder, even though strictly speaking she is not anymore.  Nobody is paying her any attention and she is not getting any respect.”

2 Comments

  1. kate on August 24, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    I am so looking forward to more downstairs drama in this upcoming series!

  2. kate on August 25, 2012 at 3:30 am

    This is going to be interesting!

Comments are closed.