Benedict Cumberbatch blasts Downton Abbey

Posh actor claims that the second series relied to much on sentiment

Benedict Cumberbatch has slammed 'Downton Abbey', calling it 'f*****g atrocious'.

The 'Sherlock' actor took on Julian Fellowes' period drama during an interview promoting his own new series, also a period piece called 'Parade's End'.

Outspoken... Benedict Cumberbatch (Copyright: WENN)“We’re remembering that there was a world before the First World War. We’re living in a culture now that’s revering, or having a nostalgia trip with, the beginning of the 1900s,” he told Reader's Digest.

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“Although ‘Downton’ traded a lot on the sentiment in the last series… but we won’t talk about that series because it was, in my opinion, f***ing atrocious.”

The second series of the show was less well received than the first by critics, who lambasted it for using soap opera-style storylines and clichés.

The third season is due to air in September on ITV and features a new role for Hollywood legend Shirley Maclaine.

Meanwhile, 'Parade's End' begins on August 24 on BBC Two, based on a series of four books by Ford Maddox Ford and starring Cumberbatch, Miranda Richardson, Rebecca Hall and Rupert Everett.