Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes accuses Britain of ‘living too much in the past’ 

Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes said that Britain was 'too much in its own past'

Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes said that Britain was 'too much in its own past'

Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes said that Britain was ‘too much in its own past’

He won an Oscar for the period drama Gosford Park and made a fortune when he created Downton Abbey, but Julian Fellowes is not afraid to bite the hand that feeds him.

The writer and Tory peer criticised the British for dwelling on the past. Speaking in America, Lord Fellowes compared this country unfavourably with the US, which is far more focused on the future, he claims.

‘America is a very forward-looking society,’ declares Fellowes, who lives in a manor house in Dorset. ‘It’s what’s coming [and] what’s next that inspires everyone.’

And he adds, witheringly: ‘England, really if anything, its fault is the other direction, that it’s too much in its own past and everyone is dwelling on the past all the time.’ Dwelling on the past has, of course, transformed Fellowes’ life.

He added: 'Everyone is dwelling on the past all the time’. Pictured is Highclere Castle - the setting for Downton Abbey

He added: 'Everyone is dwelling on the past all the time’. Pictured is Highclere Castle - the setting for Downton Abbey

He added: ‘Everyone is dwelling on the past all the time’. Pictured is Highclere Castle – the setting for Downton Abbey

He was best known for playing Kilwillie in the BBC’s Scottish drama Monarch Of The Glen when the celebrated Hollywood director Robert Altman asked him to write the screenplay for Gosford Park.

Altman chose him because Fellowes — who is married to a former lady-in-waiting to Princess Michael of Kent, Emma Kitchener — knew how country house life operated.

The film’s success inspired Fellowes to create another country house series, Downton Abbey, whose money-spinning success helped transform the fortunes of ITV.

Fellowes’s other period dramas include The Young Victoria, Titanic and Vanity Fair. This week, filming started at Twickenham Studios on his latest period offering, Belgravia.

Mr Fellowes made the comments in a speech in the US where he said: 'America is a very forward-looking society. It’s what’s coming [and] what’s next that inspires everyone'. Pictured is Hugh Bonneville who plays Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham

Mr Fellowes made the comments in a speech in the US where he said: 'America is a very forward-looking society. It’s what’s coming [and] what’s next that inspires everyone'. Pictured is Hugh Bonneville who plays Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham

Mr Fellowes made the comments in a speech in the US where he said: ‘America is a very forward-looking society. It’s what’s coming [and] what’s next that inspires everyone’. Pictured is Hugh Bonneville who plays Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham

Fellowes, who was elevated to the peerage by David Cameron in 2011, made the comments while promoting his new film, The Chaperone, a Twenties drama about the rise of actress Louise Brooks, which has just been released in the U.S.

Hollywood, the peer observes, ‘has this forward-looking dynamic. So, you know, if the price you pay is that you make less period drama, I don’t think it’s so high’.

Replaced as Prince Philip by an older actor in the next series of The Crown, Matt Smith is already missing playing the Queen’s Consort. 

‘I love him, and sort of always have,’ he admits. 

Teasingly, Smith adds of feedback from the Palace: ‘I think a few of them have seen it. 

There may have been a note. 

There may have been a text, but I’m not in a position to divulge such information.’ Spoilsport!

Even Ray Winstone’s daughter is horrified by his fronting of TV adverts for online gambling giant bet365, but the ‘geezer’ actor is a guaranteed winner.

Newly published accounts for his personal service company, Ray Winstone Ltd, show that he had amassed £3.7 million in its bank accounts by last April. That’s a £400,000 increase in a year. Ray’s actress daughter Jaime Winstone has said: ‘I disagree with gambling quite strongly.

‘There’s a recession on and it’s just another way of making people with no money lose even more. I’ve got a friend who has become hooked.

‘Gambling damages lives.’

Sir Elton John gives his family band name ‘The Johnettes’ in thank you note to restaurant owner for hosting him, David Furnish and their two children

Sir Elton John has taken to referring to his family - husband David Furnish and two sons, Zachary, eight, and Elijah, six - as 'the Johnettes'

Sir Elton John has taken to referring to his family - husband David Furnish and two sons, Zachary, eight, and Elijah, six - as 'the Johnettes'

Sir Elton John has taken to referring to his family – husband David Furnish and two sons, Zachary, eight, and Elijah, six – as ‘the Johnettes’

A solo musician since he left the group Bluesology more than five decades ago, is Sir Elton John planning to start his own band again?

For I can reveal that he has taken to calling his family ‘the Johnettes’, in the manner of a Sixties pop combo.

Sir Elton took his husband, the film-maker David Furnish, and their two sons, Zachary, eight, and Elijah, six, to Da Ivo restaurant in Venice for lunch on Sunday.

And to say thank you to the owner, Giovanni Fracassi, he drew this charming doodle of his family. 

Next to it, he wrote, ‘Elton John and the Johnettes’. 

After Zac’s birth, Sir Elton declared: ‘I want music to be a huge part of his life.’

How long before the boys start tickling the ivories?   

From left to right: David Furnish, Elijah Furnish-John, six, Zachary Furnish-John, eight, and Elton John

From left to right: David Furnish, Elijah Furnish-John, six, Zachary Furnish-John, eight, and Elton John

From left to right: David Furnish, Elijah Furnish-John, six, Zachary Furnish-John, eight, and Elton John

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