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Downton Abbey does not do God, according to show's historical advisor

Christianity, which would have been an integral part of life in the early 20th Century, is off the menu for the Crawley family. They have entertained Downton Abbey viewers for six series, and have never been shown starting a meal. This, Mr Bruce said, was to avoid having to show the characters saying grace.

Speaking to the Telegraph, he said: "I think that the view was that we'd leave religion out of it. I suggested a Latin grace, but they decided that was too far, and no one would've known what was going on."

Mr Bruce also said that he was banned from showing napkins folded in the shape of a Bishop's Mitre, for fear of breaching the religious edict. "I still wish we could've got some decent napkin folds, but I was always left with my triangle," he added

It's not the first time religious reference has caused unease through executive decision making. Peter Fincham, ITV's director of television, revealed earlier in the year that the channel had considered renaming the series, because it featured the word 'Abbey' in the title.

He said: "I can remember discussions that almost seem comical now. We talked about the word Abbey. Would people think it would have nuns or monks in it and be a religious series?"

Mr Bruce said that apart from the religious avoidance, his greatest challenge while filming the final series was to stop the cast from lapsing back into their modern manners. He said: "They just wanted to sit back a bit, literally that. I was just there, always saying 'no'."

Written by Amy Sheridan

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