Maggie Smith sends withering response to Emmys host Jimmy Kimmel who claimed 'She's Downton Absent' after actress missed awards
Emmy Awards host and US late night chat show personality Jimmy Kimmel made jokes at the expense of Donald Trump, Jeffrey Tambor and, of course, Matt Damon.
But it was Dame Maggie Smith, doyenne of British acting, who got special attention during Kimmel's opening monologue.
Dame Maggie has been nominated for nine Emmys since 1993, five of which as an Outstanding Supporting Actress in Downton Abbey, in which she plays the irascible Dowager Countess, Lady Violet.
But, despite winning five Emmys (for David Copperfield, 2000; My House in Umbria, 2003 and Downton Abbey in 2011, 2012 and 2016), Dame Maggie has never turned up to receive one of them – much to Kimmel's umbrage. Here's the transcript of his rant in full:
This year there's a new rule. You must be present to win. If we call your name and you're not here to accept, the Emmy goes to the next name on the list. It's called the Maggie Smith rule.
Maggie Smith, she's been nominated for the Emmy nine times. She's won the Emmy three times. How many times do you think she's shown up to get the Emmy? That's right, no times.
This year she had a Sunday ceramics class she couldn't get out of. When Maggie Smith hears she's nominated for an Emmy, she has the same reaction the rest of us have when we get one of those 20 per cent off Bed Bath and Beyond coupons in the mail. Right in the garbage.
She goes to other award shows! She showed up at the Oscars to get an Oscar. She showed up at the Tonys. She goes to the Soul Train Awards every year. But is she here in this audience tonight? Well, I don't see her. She's Downton Absent is what she is. For the ninth time. What is wrong with us? Why do we keep nominating this woman? She's treating us like the People's Choice Awards!
I have a message for you lame Maggie Smith, if you're even bothering to watch. If you want an Emmy, you better hop on a plane right now and get your dowager count-ass over here.
When she was announced as the winner of the 2016 Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama series category, Kimmel collected her award and announced that it would be "in the lost and found".
Dame Maggie, who is not on social media and famously confessed to never watching Downton Abbey, last night sent a message directly to the impertinent Emmys host, joking she would be on the next flight over to America.
“I was very astonished and pleased to win the award," she said.
"I feel the Emmys have been overly generous to me. If Mr Kimmel could please direct me to the lost and found office I will try and be on the next flight. Love Old Maggie."