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Maggie Smith has never watched Downton Abbey

DAME Maggie Smith has never watched 'Downton Abbey'.

Although the 80-year-old actress played Lady Violet, Dowager Countess in the TV drama for six series until it ended this year, she admitted she has yet to watch a single episode.

When asked if she's ever watched the show, Maggie told CBS News: "No. But they gave me the boxed set. And I'm going to do all sorts of things now, because I'm free!"

And Maggie also revealed that she often "cheated" by not wearing a corset on set.

She explained: "In actual fact, I have to say that I did cheat a bit. Because I promised that if I sat up, bolt upright, I made it look as though I were wearing corsets. Don't tell anybody... I don't want it to be put around. I was tortured every day."

Meanwhile, it was recently revealed that the decision to end the show came about after Maggie decided not to return for a seventh series.

Producer Gareth Neame told The Sun: "We easily could have gone for a seventh season, but if I'd have said 'We haven't got Maggie' it would have been a shadow of itself.

"We all feel very blessed. Nobody regrets ending when we did. We have a final season that's as strong as the first because we quit while we were ahead. We had the ambition that we had a complete show."