British actor, Jeremy Irons, has made a dig at the phenomenal ITV period drama, Downton Abbey, whilst promoting a new period drama due to be broadcast on the same channel, PSB, as Downton in the USA.
Irons, who joined a panel in California to promote the new series, called Shakespeare Uncovered, even went as far as to compare Downton, which has enjoyed huge success both in the UK and in America with one of its main stars, Dame Maggie Smith winning at the Golden Globes earlier this week, to a Ford fiesta car saying that people will know what real writing is when the clamp eyes on Shakespeare Uncovered, despite admitting to having never watch a single episode of Downton!
He said: “What I’m very excited about with Shakespeare Uncovered is where you see some of the best British actors playing Shakespeare.
“What you can do is to open up to this huge American audience… show them that actually television doesn’t end with Downton Abbey.
“If you think that’s good, then watch the Shakespeare productions. You’ll see what real writing, what real stories, what real characters are about.”
Seemingly slightly embarrassed by his fellow panellist’s comments, the executive producer of Shakespeare Uncovered interjected, commenting: “But we do love Downton Abbey, too!”
However, Irons wouldn’t be silenced and quipped back: “But it’s sort of – it’s sort of like – I mean, I don’t know your cars well enough, but it’s – you know, it’s like a Ford Fiesta will get you there and give you a good time.”
Another red panellist asked: “Should I stop him now?”
But Irons continued: “An Aston Martin, that’s what you’ve got with Shakespeare.”
The audience were quick to pick up on his controversial statements, but were left stunned when he went on to admit: “I’m a terrible television snob. I don’t watch very much television. I’ve never seen Downton Abbey’, he said. So I don’t know what I’m talking about, basically, when it comes to that. I’m sure it’s splendid.”