Dame Maggie has never seen 'Downton Abbey'

As a complete aside, this photo is fairly excellent.

As a complete aside, this photo is fairly excellent.

Dame Maggie Smith has revealed she has never watched a single episode of her ratings hit Downton Abbey.

The 78-year-old actress who plays the Dowager Countess of Grantham in the series said she would find it too frustrating to see things she could have done better.

But in an interview for the US TV show 60 Minutes, she said she may well tune in after she leaves the program.

The veteran screen star has appeared in all three series of the period drama.

Asked whether she was proud of the program, she responded: "I was just pausing because I've never actually seen it. I don't sit down and watch it. No, I've never watched it."

Presenter Steve Kroft pointed out that she was possibly "the only person in England" who had not seen it.

Dame Maggie replied: "Well, that's a record then isn't it, of some sort?"

She went on: "I will look at it when it's all over, maybe, because it's frustrating - I always see things that I would like to do differently, and think 'why in the name of God did I do that?'."

Dame Maggie said the thing she took from the role was "the delight of acting".

Downton Abbey airs in Australia on Sunday on the Seven Network.

-With AP