As we reported recently, Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch has been talking to the Reader’s Digest about his TV roles, including that of Christopher Tietjens in forthcoming BBC2 drama Parade’s End.
However, The Sun’s TV Biz recently reported that he had had a somewhat gentle dig at Downton Abbey – you can read what he had to say here – but during the RD interview, he apparently got downright cad-like and used… wait for it… a swear word!
While comparing Parade’s End, which is of course a wartime drama, with Downton Abbey, Benedict said, “We’re remembering that there was a world before the First World War…
“We’re living in a culture now that’s revering, or having a nostalgia trip with, the beginning of the 1900s. Although Downton traded a lot on the sentiment in the last series…
“But we won’t talk about that series because it was, in my opinion, f**king atrocious.”
He added, “There was that fear, yes. I thought, ‘Are we pandering to a taste?’
“But this is so much more sophisticated, so much more unusual. You rarely see a piece about this class of people that’s this accurate, funny and pointed…
“We’re not making some clichéd comment, ‘Oh, isn’t it awful the way there’s this upstairs-downstairs divide’.
“This is about class and love, an elegy to a dying era. It’s the final mad waltz of Edwardian society into this war-game idiocy.”
And of the wartime era, Benedict said, “Everyone was held in their place, but what was honourable about it was that there was a duty of care from the top down.
“That shouldn’t be tied in with any sort of fat-faced, flatulent Cameron effort at what Toryism – horribly – is now.”
Reader’s Digest is out next Tuesday, August 21, but in the meantime, here’s the BBC’s trailer for Parade’s End…
What do you think of Benedict’s harsh words about Downton?