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Dame Maggie Smith: 'I'm glad Downton's over'

(Image credit: PA WIRE)

Fans of Downton Abbey are dreading next weekend because that’s when the last-ever series of the ITV drama draws to a close. The only consolation is a Christmas special when the Abbey will really close its doors for the last time.

But it seems there’s one person who is pleased that it’s coming to an end – Dame Maggie Smith, who plays Dowager Countess Violet Crawley!

The actress talked about the end of the series while promoting her new film The Lady In The Van on The Graham Norton Show.

“I’m glad it’s over, I really am,” she admitted, in her first chat-show appearance in decades. “By the time we finished she [Violet] must have been about 110. It couldn’t go on and on, it just didn’t make sense."

And when Graham asked if she had ever watched an episode of the award-winning series, the Dame said, after a long pause: “No, I've got the box set".

The 80-year-old actress has starred in numerous film and TV dramas in her long career, including the Harry Potter film series, but she revealed that she is most famous for her role in Downton.

"It’s only since Downton that people seem to recognise me. That’s television for you. I was in Waitrose the other day and a little boy was at the checkout with his mother and he kept looking at me," she added. "When I asked him, ‘Can I help you?’ he said, “No, it’s alright, it’ll come to me in a minute.’ It was so lovely."