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Downton creator responds to 'privileged' criticism

Lord Fellowes defended Downton Abbey and said it was commissioned because people want to watch it. Credit: Matt Crossick/ Empics Entertainment

Downton Abbey creator Lord Fellowes has responded to criticism from Shadow Culture Secretary Chris Bryant that the arts is dominated by people from privileged backgrounds.

In an interview with the Guardian Mr Bryant also said TV shows are not gritty enough and "we can't just have Downton programming ad infinitum."

Lord Fellowes told ITV News: “Chris Bryant is entitled to his own opinion but these shows are commissioned because an audience wants them. More people are watching Downton than any other show produced by this country and they’re not all privileged.

"I’m not offended by his comments but its not a good idea to criticise the audience for enjoying it or saying they have bad taste.

"The only really posh actress on the show was Rose Leslie who played the maid Gwen in the first series, everyone else is from a medium, normal background.”


Top Gear presenters admit new series will be down to the wire

The presenters of BBC motoring show Top Gear are leaving it late to put the finishing touches to the 22nd series, which starts next Sunday.

Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond appeared in front of a live audience in London tonight in an event which was shown around the world online.

To Gear presenters (L-R) Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond Credit: Wullie Marr/EMPICS Entertainment

Asked if the series was all done, Hammond said: "We are always late with our homework".

Clarkson quipped: "Programme One, the film is not yet edited," adding: "It either goes out or it doesn't, the world still turns."

The series is to launch with a simultaneous broadcast in more than 50 countries.

Alexander O'Neal quits Celebrity Big Brother house

Alexander O'Neal is the latest name to leave the Big Brother house early. Credit: CBB/Channel 5

Alexander O'Neal has chosen to leave the Celebrity Big Brother house, Channel 5 said.

The decision comes a day after the American singer had an altercation with Perez Hilton, in which O'Neal was rapped by the programme over a homophobic slur.

Tension had been brewing between the pair since early in the morning, when Hilton woke O'Neal with his persistent coughing.

O'Neal is the third person to leave the show unexpectedly, following the removal of former Coronation Street star Ken Morley and ex-Baywatch actor Jeremy Jackson.

Stephen Fry confirms marriage to partner Elliot Spencer

Stephen Fry has married his partner Elliot Spencer at a registry office in Norfolk.

The actor and presenter posted a picture to his 8.5 million Twitter followers of the couple signing a marriage register, tweeting:

Earlier this month Fry, 57, tweeted that a "certain cat is out of a certain bag" after details of his planned marriage to 27-year-old Spencer became front page news.

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