Well this is certainly the best news we have heard all week! Siobhan Finneran has said that she would love to return to Downton Abbey, although the Bates’ probably won’t be quite as pleased, because if she does it will be to wreck their marriage.
Finneran, who had just appeared back on our screens in the new Sarah Lancashire lead drama Happy Valley, was last seen on Downton in 2012 playing Sarah O’Brien, the ladies’ maid of Lady Grantham (Elizabeth McGovern). She was written out of the ITV show between series’, though it was Siobhan’s decision to leave, as she thought O’Brien had run her course.
During her time on the period drama, O’Brien was never far from the thick of the action, and her scheming and nasty ways, which were helped by partner in crime first footman Thomas Barrow (Rob James Collier), caused mayhem amongst the staff, and Grantham’s alike.
Single-handedly she was even responsible for the miscarriage of the only boy, and rightful heir to the estate, when she deliberately put soap on the floor next to lady Grantham’s bath to seek revenge when she thought she was about to be sacked, changing the direction of the show forever.
So when she left the great house for a new job, not many of the staff were sorry to see her go, but we certainly were.
The good thing about working downstairs in Downton Abbey is that an exit never has to be as final as it is for people they serve, as Dan Stevens found out to his cost when his character Matthew Crawley had to be killed off during the 2012 Christmas special to explain his departure.
Now it seems that Siobhan Finneran, who was also one of the main stars of hit sitcom Benidorm as well as making guest appearances in an abundance of other shows over the last few decades including Coronation Street, Emmerdale and Heartbeat, is quite keen to reprise her role.
Discussing her Downton Abbey role in a recent interview with The Sun newspaper, the actress revealed:
“I’d love playing her but she’d have to go back for some reason. I’d love to return and wreck the Bates’s marriage or something like that.
“Miss O’Brien was so wicked, bitter, horrible and vile but she was funny as well as being very, very, sharp.
“Maybe one day O’Brien will fly back on her broomstick to cause mischief and mayhem.”
Meanwhile Finneran went on to address her decision to quit her role as Janice Garvey in Benidorm, a move which has seen the rest of her on-screen family written out of the show also, on which she commented:
“We just felt it was time for us to say goodbye.”
Would you like to see O’Brien back in Downton? Leave your thoughts and comments below!