News Roundup: Bodice-Ripping Sex Scenes In ‘Downton Abbey’?

Brendan Coyle and Joanne Froggatt in 'Downton Abbey'

The great British period drama has been many things, haughty, educational, dignified, but it’s never been particularly explicit, has it? Colin Firth might have smouldered around in his wet shirt for Pride and Prejudice, but he didn’t then whip off his breeches and startle the maid.

Well, it looks like that’s all about to change, with the arrival of a steamy moment for one (or two) of the characters in the nation’s favorite olden days drama, Downton Abbey.

Michelle Dockery, who plays Lady Mary, has given the Mirror a few clues as to how the rest of the current series will pan out, and who it could be in the sack. She said: “There’s a wedding, a funeral and a sex scene. I’m in one of those.”

There again, Joanne Froggatt, who plays Anna Smith, and Brendan Coyle, who plays John Bates, have both suggested it’s their relationship which will be illustrated in greater detail.

Joanne told BANG Showbiz: “Shooting love scenes is much easier now in the second series that it would have been in the first because we know each other so well now. We know what the other is thinking, we’re on the same page when it comes to the scenes.”

Brendan added: “We do see more passionate scenes between Anna and Bates this year, viewers will even get to see Anna with her hairdown. I’m blessed to work with Joanne and do these scenes with her and it has developed almost chronologically the relationship and our friendship. It’s a great storyline.” (via The List)

Let’s hope they keep it classy though, eh? That’s part of the point.

Here’s the other stuff people are talking about right now:

Sir Elton John’s Million Dollar Piano shows kicked off in Las Vegas last night. By all accounts it was a very sedade, conservative affair… ish. (via Musicrooms)

Joe Thomas of The Inbetweeners won’t be taking his clothes off in his new Channel 4 comedy Fresh Meat, about a bunch of freshers, settling into college life, because his character, Kingsley, isn’t as immature as Simon, his old character. (via Wigan Today )

Cheryl Cole’s been tweeting about her next solo album, on which she is working with producer Alex Da Kid: “I’m gonna have to get some patience.. This is hard.. I’m too frustrated with excitement for you to hear my new music.. I could pop!!

“Aaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrggggggggghhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!”

That’s probably not what it sounds like, mind you.

• Girls Aloud don’t just have one rising star, by the way, Nicola Roberts of the band has just released her debut solo album, to a fairly gushing critical reception. But it took her a while to get started, if only because she was spoiled from her experiences of working with songwriting company Xenomania. (via Digital Spy)

Sir Cliff Richard, the British Elvis, has admitted to feeling frustration at the lack of airplay his more recent work has been getting. He may have the distinction of achieving a No.1 single in every decade from the ’50s to the ’90s, and can still boast a fairly rabid fanbase, but his new songs aren’t getting the exposure he believes they deserve: “Singers can’t tell stations what to play, but when you’re left out for no apparent reason, there’s a frustration. I’ve kind of got over that now, and I’ve had my grumble, and I was right to have my grumble too, but life goes on.” (via Press Association)

• Steve Jones, the tall handsome Welsh man on the US X Factor who the critics don’t seem to have taken much of a shine to, has stormed off Piers Morgan’s chat show. Or did Piers insist he leave, as he claims on Twitter? No he probably did storm off. (via Coventry Telegraph)

• Method acting is all very well, Sam Worthington, but when you’re playing an arrogant jerk in a film like Last Night, try not to get on your co-star’s nerves, eh? Especially when she’s Keira Knightley, and clearly can hold a grudge. (via Belfast Telegraph)

• There’s no space to fully explain the full extent of why this is bad news, but Harry Hill is leaving ITV’s surreal Saturday night favorite, TV Burp, which means there will be no more tellymocking delights such as these:

Sad faces all round.

Fraser McAlpine

Fraser has been writing and broadcasting about music and popular culture for over 15 years, first at the Top of the Pops website, and most recently for the NME, Guardian and MSN. He also wrote BBC Radio 1's Chart Blog and reviews albums for BBC Radio 2.

He is Anglophenia's current resident Brit, blogging about British slang and running around the Mall taking snaps of the crowd at the Royal Wedding, as well as reigniting a childhood passion for classic Doctor Who and cramming as much music in as he can manage.

Fraser invites you to join him on Twitter: @csi_popmusic

See more posts by Fraser McAlpine