BACK from a screening plus Q&A tonight for new BBC1 drama series Accused.
With writer Jimmy McGovern, producer Sita Williams and actor Christopher Eccleston, who plays Willy in the first story next Monday.
I asked Jimmy about his recent comments that TV drama should say more about the world we live in today and not rely on costumes, irony and pastiche.
Taken as a criticism of, among other dramas, Downton Abbey – which he has never seen.
What was his reaction to the flak his comments attracted?
“That’s my opinion, that’s how I feel,” he replied.
Was he criticising costume drama?
“No, I wasn’t. It’s horses for courses.
“But I’m sorry, I expressed an opinion. I’ve been married for 40 years, I should know you shouldn’t. But I did.
“And I’m so sorry I offended people but, you know, that’s how I feel.”
Sita Williams: “Jimmy, come on, you’ve got to confess the costume drama that you do like. You tell me to watch it every Sunday.”
Jimmy: “Oh, Lark Rise To Candleford, yeah. But that’s interesting, isn’t it, Lark Rise To Candleford?
“If you watch it, it’s sweet, it’s sugary, blah, blah, blah. But very occasionally you get an episode that’s really fascinating.
“For instance, what do you do with a wounded soldier?
“A mutilated soldier comes back and they don’t know what to do with him. That’s Afghanistan. You probably don’t watch it Chris…”
Chris: “No, I did it at drama school. It’s pre-industrial revolution and post-industrial revolution and was done by Bill Bryden at the Cottesloe…
“I haven’t seen Downton Abbey, no, I’m sorry,” added Chris.
“My mum loves it. Bodily threw me out of the house when I was round there on a Sunday night,” added Chris.
Sita: “I watch it and I love it. So there you go.”
*Accused begins on BBC1 at 9pm on Monday.
Accused: Christopher Eccleston