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Downton Abbey star Lesley Nicol defends her character on Beecham House

What do you think of her character?

beecham lesley
Emmy Griffiths
TV & Film Editor
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Lesley Nicol has opened up about her character on Beecham House after fans took to Twitter to complain about her behaviour in the drama. In the series, Lesley plays Henrietta Beecham, and older woman who moves to India to be closer to her son. Speaking about the language her character uses in the show on This Morning, she explained: "It's a period drama and you have to accept that's how that kind of woman would have been. She has no life experience at all, she's been doing a huge, long journey by boat to be with her son, and is thrown into a culture she knows nothing about."

beecham 2© Photo: Rex

Lesley opened up about her rule

She continued: "And she really does badly. I mean, she can't cope with the names, the food, the language, the heat, she's just fish out of water." Phillip Schofield agreed, explaining: "It wasn't that long ago that that language was used widely and people still use it now." Lesley added: "Absolutely they do, and there is a major reaction and you can't condone it, you can't only say that it's very true to how that kind of woman would have been."

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beecham 1© Photo: ITV

Lesley plays Henrietta Beecham

The Downton star also teased what was to come with her character. "She's addicted to opium so she's not the most balanced human being," she said. "There's a major development coming this week with her and her son. There's a lot to see!" During the interview, the actress also revealed that her friend on the show, Violet, was actually played by her Downton co-star Jim Carter's daughter, Bessie! "Jim sent me an email saying, 'Do you know who is playing Violet Woodhouse?'," Lesley explained. "I said, 'No but I'm dying to know.' And he said, 'Oh we know her, she's quite nice!'"

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