Joanne Froggatt is the award-winning actress who plays Anna Bates, the head housemaid in Downton Abbey. With a list of endless TV credits under her belt, including Robin Hood, Spooks and Murder in the Outback, Joanne speaks to Freeview about her favourite TV and the success of the brilliant Downton Abbey.
Tell us about Anna, the role you play in the award-winning series Downton Abbey?
I play Anna Bates, the head housemaid in Downton Abbey. Anna is a really kind soul, she is fair and thoughtful, strong and caring, as is the character of Mr Bates who is Anna’s husband. They both have a very strong moral code and that is one of the reasons they are so in love.
Series two of Downton Abbey was watched by over 11 million people each week on ITV1 – what makes the show so successful?
I definitely think it’s Julian Fellowes‘ writing and the wonderful story lines that are created. Julian has managed to create a real cross-section of characters so there is a someone for everyone to either love or simply love to hate. Also, the period in which Downton Abbey is set is very different to how we live now but it has similarities that we can all relate to. For instance, there are motor cars in series one and then the arrival of the telephone. It’s quite incredible to think of all the technology we have today but just over a 100 years ago the telephone was a new phenomenon. We all love a bit of nostalgia and Downton brings us it in bucket loads.
You’ve starred in host of really great TV: Murder in the Outback, Robin Hood, The Royle Family and Life On Mars – what is the standout moment of your acting career?
Stand out moments for me, career-wise, have been winning a 2010 BIFA award for most promising newcomer for my role in the film ‘ In Our Name‘. Also, I really enjoyed playing the lead in three very different true-life dramas: ‘ Danielle Cable, Eye Witness‘, ‘ See No Evil‘ and ‘ Murder In The Outback’. All of these projects meant a great deal to me and included a huge amount of involvement.
What’s your favourite TV moment of all time?
My favourite TV moment of all time is when Del Boy goes to lean on the bar in an episode of Only Fools and Horses and falls over because someone has propped the bar up. I think it stays in most people’s minds when you think of great and unforgettable TV. It’s a classic.
Which television series do you think of as ‘Unmissable TV’ and why?
Series one of the Danish version of The Killing on BBC4 – I haven’t watched series two yet but it’s on my list of things to catch up on. I thought it was beautifully acted, it looked incredible and it kept you on the edge of your seat for the entire series. Every episode ended with such a cliff hanger that you couldn’t help but watch the next one – it is addictive TV!
Tell us what shows you are watching and recording at the moment?
I’m recording the second series of The Killing on BBC4 and The Black Mirror Trilogy on Channel 4.
Which actor or actress would you most like to work with and why?
I have a long list of actors and actresses I would love to work with, way too long to mention – the list is endless!
Tell us your guilty TV pleasure?
My guilty TV pleasure is Murder She Wrote!
Who was your childhood TV hero and why?
My childhood TV hero was probably Jimmy Savile – I was obsessed with Jim’ll Fix It. When I was older, it wasMadonna. I absolutely loved her.
When was the last time TV made you cry?
TV makes me cry all the time, especially really well acted dramas. I think the last time I cried in front of the TV, I was watching the news!
Tell is a something we would never know about you…
That my guilty TV pleasure is Murder She Wrote!
Now Freeview HD is available across the UK, which part of your body would you least likely to see in high definition?
I don’t really want to see any part of my body in high definition! Who would??!
You can catch Joanne in the Christmas Special of Downton Abbey at 9pm on Christmas Day on ITV1 and ITV1 HD.