Upstairs Downstairs to feature lesbian love affair

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 31 January 2012
Emilia Fox

Emilia Fox

'Upstairs Downstairs' is to feature a steamy lesbian love affair between actresses Emilia Fox and Alex Kingston

'Upstairs Downstairs' is to feature a steamy lesbian love affair.

In a bid to boost ratings and compete with rival ITV1 period drama 'Downton Abbey', BBC bosses have spiced up the show with a saucy romance between Lady Portia Alresford - portrayed by Emilia Fox - and Dr Blanche Mottershead (Alex Kingston).

Shockwaves will ripple across the house when Blanche - the younger sister of Lady Holland - turns up with her lover in hot pursuit after having lived abroad.

Writer and creator Heidi Thomas said: "These are two brilliant, intellectual women who have a deeply romantic friendship in the tradition of the great Edwardian romantics, which gives each of them endless stimulation and satisfaction.

"There is a real whiff of scandal in the air. When this relationship becomes apparent in the household there are various reactions both upstairs and downstairs.

"The relationship is covert and difficult. It causes a bit of a stir when it all comes out, but Blanche finds support and sympathy from an unlikely quarter."

'Upstairs Downstairs' star Neil Jackson - who portrays chauffer Harry Spargo in the BBC remake of the period drama - has previously slammed 'Downton Abbey' as "sexless" and claimed his co-stars Laura Haddock and Keeley Hawes are much better eye-candy than their ITV1 rivals Michelle Dockery and Amy Nuttall.

He said: "The women in 'Downton Abbey' don't compare to the women in 'Upstairs Downstairs'. Ours are stunning. We've got Laura Haddock, Keeley Hawes, Claire Foy... beautiful women. Laura, who plays Harry's love interest Beryl Ballard, is particularly beautiful.

"If Angelina Jolie and Keira Knightley had a love child, it would look like her.

"From the little I've seen of 'Downton Abbey', that's a fairly sexless show."

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