Jean March, co-creator of Upstairs Downstairs has discharged a salvo, denigrating the originality of Downton Abbey:
Hackles were raised when Marsh suggested that Downton Abbey, one of the unexpected hits of the year, was a thinly-disguised facsimile of the original Upstairs, Downstairs, which ran from 1971 to 1975 and has been watched by an estimated 1 billion people worldwide.
|Jean Marsh as Rose in Upstairs Downstairs|
"I think we were all surprised," Marsh told BBC1's The One Show. "The new Upstairs, Downstairs had been in the works for about three years. We were trying to sort out … 40 years of rights and then it also started – Downton Abbey – in the Edwardian era, which Upstairs, Downstairs did. So it might be a coincidence and I might be the queen of Belgium."
Bonneville, who plays the Earl of Grantham in the ITV drama, replied on Twitter: "I thought Jean Marsh was bigger than that – running down Downton while bigging up Upstairs? Downton never downed Up when upping Down. - - War declared as Upstairs, Downstairs creator fires volley at Downton Abbey, Guardian UK
|Upstairs, Elizabeth McGovern as Countess Grantham and Hugh Bonneville as the earl.|
"There are a limited number of ways you can bring people of different backgrounds and ages under one roof. We have all had masses of lawyers' offices, police stations and hospitals, which are obvious, and the staffed house is rather less obvious. I think there is certainly room for more than one. Good luck to them, say I." - The real Upstairs Downstairs, The Independent
|Downstairs: Lesley Nicol (front) as Mrs Patmore and Sophie McShera as Daisy|
Read The Daily Mail's take on this brouhaha as the new Upstairs Downstairs makes its debut this holiday season.