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I love being most hated in Downton drama -- Siobhan

DOWNTON Abbey star Siobhan Finneran says she gets a kick out of playing the most-hated character in the television period drama.

The actress (46) stars alongside Hugh Bonneville and Jessica Brown Findlay as bitter spinster Sarah O'Brien -- Lady Grantham's scheming lady's maid.

Siobhan said: "I actually have great fun being sniffy to everyone! I love O'Brien the most when she's spiteful and has a brilliant put-down."

The former Coronation Street and Benidorm actress added: "Some people like to think she was just born bad, but I believe that at some point she has had some damage done to her."


"I have invented a back story for her, although whether that matches what (creator) Julian (Fellowes) had in mind, I'm not sure.

"The fact that she had a nephew and family she cared about came as a bit of a surprise."

Speaking to the Radio Times, the Lancashire-born actress -- whose career stretches back to the 1986 film Rita, Sue and Bob Too -- said she would like to see her alter ego find romance on hit UTV drama Downton Abbey.

"O'Brien with a boyfriend would be stupendous!

"Kevin Doyle, who plays Molesley, and I are always speculating what our characters would be like on a date -- it would be hilarious."