Executives at ITV tried to persuade Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes to hand over writing the show to someone else so that it could continue.
Fellowes wrote all 52 episodes of the period drama series.
Prior to the announcement in March 2015 that the sixth season would be the last, television bosses attempted to convince Fellowes to let a new showrunner take over Downton Abbey.
A high level production source reportedly told Radio Times: “ITV wanted Julian to let someone else do it but it wasn’t something he wanted. Downton is Julian’s.”
Downton star Hugh Bonneville, who played Lord Grantham, is certainly one that is in agreement.
He previously commented: “Julian’s writing is is distinctive The style and wit and the way he constructs scenes. I only recently realised that you go into a scene with one thing and leave with another. There is a momentum there. A scene starts with something then becomes about something else. When people try and satirise it they never get it quite right because you can’t copy Julian.”
Executive producer Gareth Neame also agreed: “He has been the creator of the show; he’s written every episode. He’s created all of those characters and it has been a fantastic partnership. And I couldn’t entertain continuing to make the show with other writers. I think that would be a big mistake.”
Downton Abbey: The Complete Collection is available now. Buy the box set on Amazon here.