STV to show Downton Abbey in Autumn schedule

STV is to show the first and second series of Downton Abbey, the ITV costume drama, as part of its autumn schedule.

The Scottish broadcaster did not show the programme when it was first broadcast on ITV, choosing instead to screen a brand-new six-part series of Taggart instead.

The period drama follows the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants early in the reign of King George V. The show became one of the most successful UK period dramas ever.

Scot Phyllis Logan, who plays the Downton Abbey Housekeeper Mrs Hughes said: "I'm delighted that STV is showing Downton Abbey in Scotland - it means my family and friends in Scotland will be able to watch [the second series]it at the same time as the rest of the UK.

"This might push our viewing figures up even higher which can only be good. We were all taken aback by the response to the show and hope that this year the audience's reaction is similar. I think Julian has written a fantastic second series with all the twists and turns that made series one so engaging."

Iain Glen, the Scot who joins the cast for the second series as new character, Sir Richard Carlisle, added: "I am not party to the original decision as to why STV didn’t acquire the original series from ITV, but I am delighted the decision has been reversed and the people of Scotland will be able to see what all the fuss has been about.

"I think good quality terrestrial drama made within the UK should be available to watch throughout the UK. No one expected Downton Abbey to be quite the global success it turned out to be and I think that added more voice to the argument.

"It became so popular because it is a finely written, subtly acted period piece. Downton Abbey shows in microcosm a very British way of life that has only recently passed but has gone forever.

"It is a sign of strength that STV thought again and reversed their original decision. On a personal level, having joined the cast of Downton for the second series I am glad that all my family and friends in Scotland will now be able to watch."

Bobby Hain, MD of channels at STV, said: "We’re delighted to bring viewers the first airing of series one of Downton Abbey in Scotland and the much anticipated second series as part of our autumn schedule.

"Downton Abbey has proven to be a hugely popular drama and we very much hope our viewers enjoy it."

Series one of Downton Abbey starts on Sunday August 7 and series two will follow on Sundays beginning on September 18.

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