Eek! There’s always been a bit of underlying rivalry between ITV’s Downton Abbey and BBC’s Upstairs Downstairs, but things are getting competitive in the run-up to their return later his year. After its successful Christmas episodes in 2010, the BBC drama is back on our screens this spring and will be set around the First World War. Sound familiar?
Upstairs Downstairs writer Heidi Thomas has defended the similarities with Downton though, saying, “Downton have had 18 hours of drama now and we are barely out of the starting blocks. I think this is a whole new chapter for us. We just don’t reference Downton and I have only seen fragments of it myself.” She said to The Daily Mail, “If you are going to pick up the story, you don’t have a choice about covering the war.”
Downton is "sexless"
This comes after Upstairs Downstairs actor Neil Jackson, who plays raunchy chauffer Harry Spargo, blasted Downton for being a “sexless show” in The Sun earlier this month. He even went on to slate the Crawley ladies, saying, "The women in Downton Abbey don't compare to the women in Upstairs Downstairs. Ours are stunning. We've got beautiful women.” Miow!
Neil then went on to argue that Upstairs Downstairs is more sexed-up than Downton, saying, “I have several steamy sexy scenes… And there are entire storylines I'm not involved in that will have audiences' mouths agape from just the shock and audacity of the sexual nature.” Did he not see the episode where Mary had a one-night stand and Mr Pamuk died?! It was scandalous!
We’re not sure we like all this arguing. It’s like if Ryan Reynolds and Ryan Gosling started fighting… We love you both, don’t make us choose! If it does come down to fisticuffs, we’re imagining Neil Jackson and Dan Stevens (Matthew Crawley) in a camp slap-fest a la Colin Firth and Hugh Grant in Brigitte Jones, though. In fact, if any TV bosses are reading this, that’s a great idea for a show.
Which show’s return are you most looking forward to? Is Neil fair to say Downton is sexless? Forget the ladies though, we want to know which show you think has the best-looking men! Let us know…