Upstairs Downstairs: Keeley Hawes on “healthy” viewing figures & Nico Mirallegro on Johnny’s war call up

Upstairs Downstairs star Keeley Hawes has hit back at reports in the media that have suggested the number of people watching the show is declining.

Keeley, who plays Lady Agnes, claimed that the viewing figures for the BBC1 show were “healthy” after it was reported that the show had lost around 1.5million viewers.

Speaking to What’s On TV, she said, “We only have the consolidated figures for the first episode and we got eight million.

“So I think, on a normal day, without the juggernauts that have been coming about recently on TV, I think that’s pretty respectable. Very healthy indeed…”

Meanwhile, her co-star, former Hollyoaks actor Nico Mirallegro – who plays footman Johnny Proude – has also been speaking to WOTV, but he was talking to the magazine about the fact that his character will receive his call up papers to join the troops who’re being amassed to fight the impending war against Germany.

We’ll see Johnny getting his call up papers in tomorrow night’s episode, but of the plotline, Nico said, “At first, he’s looking forward to it. Then, when he starts hearing things on the news and people are beginning to get worried, he gets very anxious.

“So, he starts off happy about it and then it all goes downhill.”

WOTV adds, “Chauffeur Harry Spargo tries to prepare Johnny for the army by coaching him at boxing. Does Johnny have the drive to do well?”

Nico said, “When Johnny starts training you begin to see him really striving for success. He wants to do well and prove himself to the house.

“And it helps having Harry there to look up to like an older brother. It’s a really nice friendship they’ve got going on.”

However, of the outcome of that training, Nico said, “Well, let’s just say that Johnny doesn’t really know how to handle certain situations and it seems that whatever he touches goes wrong.”

And finally, when asked what he’s enjoying most about his role on the show, Nico said, “I love going into make-up and have the stylists do my hair.

“And the amount of detail that goes into the set is amazing. You open a cupboard and it’s just full of food from the 1930s; actual labels.

“I’ve never seen anything in so much detail before.”

Don’t miss tomorrow night’s episode at 9pm on BBC1.

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.