Downton Abbey star Dan Stevens has said he attacked Boris Johnson on The One Show for wanting to hold the Prime Minister accountable for “absolutely outrageous” behavior in government.
The 39-year-old actor said the joke drew “massive applause and laughter” in the studio and claims it has not been rebuked by BBC bosses.
On Wednesday, he appeared on the nightly chat show to discuss his new Starz political drama Gaslit, which is based on the events of the 1970s Watergate scandal that led to the resignation of former US President Richard Nixon.
Describing the show, Stevens said, “Well, what you’ve got is a criminal for a leader who’s involved in a dirty war, embroiled in some stupid scandal and surrounded by ambitious jerks and he really should step down and … no, it does I’m sorry… that’s the intro to Boris Johnson.”
The comments left hosts Alex Jones and Jermaine Jenas speechless as they quickly tried to move the conversation forward.
Speaking to GQ after the performance, he said: “It’s really hard to ignore the parallels. And I think on a show like Gaslit, you know, especially in this country, people might be like, ‘Well, that’s a very American story. I’m not sure if that’s for me.”
“Actually, a scandal is a scandal, corruption in a political administration is universally relevant, and it doesn’t matter what country you are in.
“There are, there’s always someone up to some shady shit. There’s a lot of headlines here. I hadn’t really noticed until I hit the ground. I mean it’s one thing to read about it from across the pond.
“But you know, I got here and it’s in every radio bulletin. Absolutely outrageous. And yes, it turned me on quite a bit. I thought it was worth highlighting the extraordinary similarities.”
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Stevens said politicians are now able to get away with things that previously led to their resignation.
He added, “I think people need to be held accountable and yeah, not much is changing.”
When asked if the producers spoke to him after the incident, he pointed a joke at the culture minister.
He said: “And Nadine Dorries storms in and tries to privatize me? Yes.
“No, I mean, it seemed to go down pretty well. There was much applause and laughter.
“I think you know unfortunately it’s all too rare these days to see someone speaking their mind and speaking the truth on live television.
“Even our best political journalists are afraid to actually say what’s going on, which makes me pretty pissed.”
As a BBC programme, The One Show must follow the broadcaster’s impartiality guidelines.
But Stevens added: “There’s impartiality. And then it’s just call it that and just say what happens.
“And I don’t think I said anything that should surprise anyone.”
In “Gaslit,” Stevens plays John Dean, one of the senior attorneys on the case at the time, alongside a star cast including Julia Roberts and Sean Penn.
The criticism follows police who fined Prime Minister and Chancellor Rishi Sunak on Tuesday for hosting a birthday party for Mr Johnson at No 10 during the Covid restrictions in June 2020.
Both Mr Johnson and Mr Sunak – and the Prime Minister’s wife Carrie, who was also fined for partying in the Cabinet Room – apologized on Tuesday and confirmed they had paid the fines.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/dan-stevens-explains-why-he-took-a-swipe-at-boris-johnson-on-the-one-show-41554954.html Dan Stevens explains why he took a swipe at Boris Johnson on The One Show