Brendan Coyle surprised by sex symbol status
Brendan Coyle is surprised his 'Downton Abbey' character John Bates is considered a sex symbol by the show's female fans
Downton Abbey's Brendan Coyle can't believe women view him as a sex symbol.
The 47-year-old actor - who plays honourable valet John Bates in the ITV1 period drama - is thrilled that the audience is so invested in his character's burgeoning relationship with head housemaid Anna Smith (Joanne Froggatt) but admits he never expected to become a heartthrob.
He told BANG Showbiz: "I fully expected to become a sex symbol but I just didn't want to seem big-headed by talking about it. I've been pretending to be modest. No I'm joking, I was completely taken by surprise to hear that I'm being called a sex symbol. I saw Bates as a really interesting, really well written and a very honourable character but I don't understand him being thought of as a sex symbol. There must be lots of weird people out there but I'm very flattered."
However, Brendan's co-star and on-screen love interest Joanne can understand his appeal to his legions of fans, citing both the character of Bates and Brendan's good look as the reason.
She said: "I see him as a sex symbol. I think what people warm to about Bates is that he's a great guy, he's overcome a lot of difficult things in his life and he's come through them wiser and he's honourable and obviously Brendan is a very good looking man so you put the two things together and of course people are going to see him as a sex symbol."
'Downton Abbey' returns on September 18 on ITV1.