Hot date with Bryan

DOWNTON ABBEY. Photographer: NICK BRIGGS, (C) CARNIVAL FILMS
DOWNTON ABBEY. Photographer: NICK BRIGGS, (C) CARNIVAL FILMS
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Got a hot date on Sunday.

With Bryan Ferry.

Okay, I do know he’ll be on some 19th century, velvet-topped chaise longue somewhere in Chelsea, and I’ll be a metaphorical million miles away on a dog hair-coated settee in Rotherham, but don’t spoil it for me.

At 9pm, we WILL be together... in spirit. As good as holding hands as we sit down to Downton.

No way he’d stand me up. It’s the first episode of the new series.

And Bryan was left so bereft by the end of the last one that he became a fully joined-up member of the Manton Support Club.

Founded especially to ease big softie male fans through the chasm that yawned when last autumn’s entree into the genteel, upstairs, downstairs world of a bygone era ended, Manton Club even drew teary-eyed lorry drivers and wrestlers.

They, Bryan, me – we all knew it was a heavily-romanticised view. That no toff could ever really have been as kind to the servants as the Crawleys were. And no servants as vile and back-stabbing as that dastardly footman.

But truth mattered not. It swept us along to the ball.

Downton Abbey was Sunday night viewing as sweet and soporific as a mug of old-fashioned cocoa.

And now it’s back to soothe us into preparative slumber for another winter of dreaded Monday mornings.

Can’t wait.

Get them slippers by the fire, Bryan.