‘Downton Abbey’ Star Maggie Smith’s Publicist Denies Report She’s Leaving Show

The 80-year-old actress previously said her character “certainly can’t keep going”

Maggie Smith may not be leaving “Downton Abbey” so soon after all.

Despite her comments about Season 6 being “the last one,” her publicist has released a statement to the media refuting the prevailing interpretation that her statement meant she wouldn’t be returning for a possible seventh season.

“[Smith] has always been on the record as saying she’ll be with the show for as long as the show runs,” her representative said, noting that she had been speaking lightheartedly.

Smith told the Times of London on Sunday that the timeframe of the show would suggest that its end is near.

“They say this is the last one, and I can’t see how it could go on,” Smith said. ““I mean, [my character] certainly can’t keep going. To my knowledge, I must be 110 by now. We’re in to the late 1920s.”

Smith plays the Dowager Countess of Grantham on creator Julian Fellowes‘ Masterpiece Theater drama, which is currently airing its fifth season on PBS. The sixth season will go into production this year, but a premiere date has not yet been announced.

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