In the wake of her decision to quit her role as Sarah O’Brien in Downton Abbey, Siobhan Finneran has revealed that her reason for quitting was because she had “stopped loving” the show!
Siobhan, who also played Janice in ITV hit comedy Benidorm, has played manipulative and scheming Lady’s Maid, O’Brien, since the show first began back in 2010 and, despite her characters villainous ways, has been a firm favourite with audiences all over the world.
However, despite such huge critical acclaim Finneran has decided to leave the show, feeling that it was time to “move on”, the Sun newspaper reported at the time of her departure announcement.
Unlike the departure of both Jessica Brown-Findlay who played Lady Sybil and Dan Stevens who played Matthew Crawley, it is expected that Finneran’s character, Sarah O’Brien, will have the door left open for her.
Both Matthew and Sybil had to be killed off in Downton last year as, after both actors decided to quit, there was no other realistic way for their characters to leave being central to the family.
However, in O’Brien’s case, working downstairs means that there other options open to departing characters such as a change of job, meaning that, whilst it still remains unconfirmed as to how O’Brien leaves, it is unlikely that she will be killed off meaning that Finneran can return to the show in the future should she want to.
Speaking to the publication about her departure, Finneran explained:
“I presume my absence is explained — you’ll have to wait and see. I loved the job and I miss my mates on the show, but it was time to move on.”
Meanwhile a show source said: “The door will be left open for Siobhan to return.”
However, as reports in the Daily Mail suggest, that open door might be a bit draughty as Siobhan really doesn’t sound like she plans on coming back any time soon as she had fallen out of love with playing O’Brien!
Finneran explained to the publication: “I signed up to do three series and that was all I wanted to do. I talked it through with my family and it was the right decision for all of us. I had great fun doing it but I just didn’t want to do it anymore. I decided this before we even did the last series. When I stop loving something, I stop doing it.”