Watch George Clooney visit the world of ‘Downton Abbey’

Attention dedicated fans of imported British television: If you watch this “Downton Abbey” sketch that aired in the U.K. over the weekend, you may need a fainting couch nearby.

George Clooney made his much-heralded appearance at everyone’s favorite ancestral family home, and he wasn’t the only big name to show up. No spoilers, but if you’re the type of person who watches PBS with any regularity, you will be very, very pleased.

In this sketch, Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville) is facing financial ruin once again. When he speculates that perhaps everyone would be better off if he had never existed, there’s an ever-helpful angel to show him just how necessary he is.

Clooney appears as the Grantham replacement, known as Lord Hollywood. And although the family may be better off with Grantham, you never saw a hand kiss from Bonneville cause Maggie Smith to collapse into a full faint.


The sketch aired in the U.K. over the weekend as part of ITV’s annual “Text Santa” charity fundraising telethon.

This year, the telethon raised more than $8.5 million, the most ever for a single telethon, to aid six U.K.-based charities.

But with all the good cheer, we’re still left with one nagging question: Are those tattoos on Molesley’s (actor Kevin Doyle) arms for real?

(Tip: Keep watching the video through the “to be continued” pause to see the second half of the skit.)


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