Hugh Bonneville was drawn to 'Douglas Is Cancelled' by the unpredictability of the story.

Hugh Bonneville embraced the pendulum swings on Douglas Is Cancelled

Hugh Bonneville embraced the pendulum swings on Douglas Is Cancelled

The 60-year-old star plays the lead role of bumbling news anchor Douglas Fellowes – who finds his TV career in jeopardy when a sexist joke he tells at a wedding goes viral – in the new ITV drama and was impressed by how Steven Moffat's story went in various directions.

Asked about the appeal of the show, Hugh told assembled media including BANG Showbiz at a screening of the programme: "Steven constantly surprises you with the twists and turns that it takes and the way the pendulum of your sympathy swings from one direction to another and then back again.

"It was a genuine page-turner and I didn't know what was going to happen next."

Hugh thinks that viewers will be sucked in by the comedic elements of the show before being "punched in the stomach" with a dramatic plot twist.

The 'Downton Abbey' star said: "As with all great satire it draws you in with laughter and then punches you in the stomach and the knife gradually turns. And you start asking questions of yourself like, 'Why was I laughing on page 28 when on page 54 I see what was behind that laughter?'

"Hopefully you've been lulled into a false sense of comedic security in these first two episodes, but hang on to your seats. "It is lovely the way you are drawn down a certain path and then your expectations are overturned."

'Douglas Is Cancelled' will air on ITV1 and ITVX on Thursday 27th June 2024.