Dame Maggie Smith: 'I've never watched Downton'

Dame Maggie Smith, who has revealed she has never watched a single episode of her ratings hit Downton Abbey. Credit: Ian West/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The actress who plays the Dowager Countess of Grantham in the hit ITV period drama Downton Abbey has revealed she has never watched a single episode of the show.

The 78-year-old actress Dame Maggie Smith said she would find it too frustrating to see things she could have done better.

But in an interview for the US TV show 60 Minutes, she said she may well tune in after she leaves the programme.

The veteran screen star has appeared in all three series of the drama which has drawn huge Sunday night audiences, and has now become a Christmas Day fixture.

She said: "I don't sit down and watch it. No, I've never watched it.

"I will look at it when it's all over, maybe, because it's frustrating - I always see things that I would like to do differently, and think 'why in the name of God did I do that?'."