Richard E Grant: “I Don’t Know Why I’m Not In ‘Downton Abbey’”

Richard E Grant (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

Some absences aren’t noticeable until they are pointed out, and then they become howlingly obvious.

Richard E Grant, alongside Rupert Everett and Colin Firth, is the very acme of a certain sort of British actor. Someone born to play upper crust roles, men raised during the Victorian-Edwardian era to lead the Empire to greatness amid rousing fanfares, the creak of that upper lip stiffening, and the reassuring thwack of leather on willow.

He is, in short, a perfect fit with Downton Abbey. He even starred in Gosford Park, and if anyone can find a significant difference between those two Julian Fellowes-created worlds, you’re a better observer of historical dramas than I.

And it’s not as if his star is on the wane. After all, there’s the Doctor Who Christmas special The Snowmen to look forward to, in which he plays a sour-faced Victorian in an imposing topper.

When asked by The Independent why he thinks he hasn’t been invited to join Hugh and Dame Maggie at the Abbey yet, he said: “I have no idea. I know Julian, but I was never asked. I’ve never been up for it. Maybe next series.”

Time to set up a protest group. You make the placards and I’ll write the petition…

Fraser McAlpine

Fraser has been writing and broadcasting about music and popular culture for over 13 years, first at the Top of the Pops website, and most recently for the NME. He also wrote BBC Radio 1's Chart Blog and reviews albums for BBC Music.

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

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