Maggie Smith on final ‘Downton’ season: ‘I’m surprised I got to the end’

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Downton Abbey star Maggie Smith has revealed that she plans to start watching the show now that it’s finished.

A press launch for Season 6 took place today at the May Fair hotel in London, with cast members Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville and Joanne Froggatt in attendance.

Smith has played the Dowager Countess, Violet, since the show began in 2010.

The last ever episode will air on Christmas Day on ITV, following eight episodes this autumn.

Asked what she would be doing next, Maggie Smith replied: “I’m going to be lying down. I believe for quite some time. The other thing I will be doing is watching it. I will get the box set and have a good look. I certainly haven’t watched anything that I’ve done. I have seen some of it. But I want to sit down and look at it all.”

She joked: “I’m just surprised that I got to the end because just before this I’d done about 10 years with Harry Potter. So I felt very old indeed by the time I got to the Dowager. I’m honestly just surprised that I got through it and I’m still here.”

Downton Abbey 5 7 Maggie Smith

The five times BAFTA award winning actress actress added: “It was extraordinary and incredibly reassuring to see these people day after day and know that they were the first people there and they were last people to go. You’ve no idea how incredibly exhausting that must be. I do not know how it’s done, quite honestly. And there they are, all of them, and always in a very good mood, which I can’t say for myself.”

Executive producer Gareth Neame promised today that “fans of the show around the world will be happy and satisfied” with the final season.

> Buy Season 5 on DVD on Amazon.

Will you miss seeing Maggie Smith in Downton? Let us know below…