Shirley the ghost hunter – Downton Abbey star reveals its secrets

Lord Grantham would never be so indiscreet. However once the cameras stop rolling, actor Hugh Bonneville is more than happy to lift the lid on the behind-the scenes secrets and concerns of Downton Abbey. From Shirley MacLaine’s ghost hunting antics, to his fears about the rapid time line movement of the plot which could see it end up in the same era as other dramas, Mr Bonneville is not afraid to share his thoughts on the successes, quirks and failures of the popular period drama which it has emerged was deliberately not shown to the BBC……

Mr Bonneville said Miss MacLaine, 78, who was cast as Cora’s mother Cincinnati millionairess Martha Levinson, in the ITV costume drama’s third series didn’t just bring some Hollywood glamour to Downton she also served another purpose. The star is a ghost hunter and even helped manage the supernatural goings on during filming. Mr Bonneville, 49, who is married and has a son, said: ‘She studies ghosts too and absolutely knew about the ghosts at Highclere Castle where we film and she treated them as if they are friends you know? She is not nutty at all – she understands [the occult]….



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