Downton steers clear of disaster

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DOWNTON ABBEY creator Julian Fellowes admitted there was “a slight temptation” to put some of the characters from his country house drama on board his new show about the sinking of the Titanic.

The very first episode of the hit ITV1 show began with the news that the doomed ship had sunk with the heir to Downton, James Crawley, and his son Patrick among the dead.

Fellowes’ new show mixes fictional characters with portraits of some of the ships real-life passengers in a four-part ITV drama that stars Linus Roache, Celia Imrie and Toby Jones among the cast. Speaking at a press conference to launch the show, Fellowes said he used the Titanic in the first episode of Downton so the audience would “grasp when and where” the story was set.