Ever fancied sitting in the Earl of Grantham's armchair or sipping from the Dowager Countess of Grantham's bone china tea cup? It seems that fans of 'Downton Abbey' over in the America certainly do, as US network NBC Universal, which bought the rights to the costume drama is set to launch a collection of Downton-inspired clothing, homeware and furniture across the pond. In an interview with CNBC the show's executive producer Gareth Neame revealed that the company 'will be working across an entire range of products coming out this year. From fashion, apparel and homeware and furniture to wallpapers, beauty products and stationary.'
This is not a new concept for NBC who already merchandise a lot of their big shows including 30 Rock, The Office and The Voice, but where as those lines tend to focus on bobbleheads and t-shirts, it sounds like the Downton collection will offer customers the opportunity to buy into the Grantham-Crawley family lifestyle. It's a wonder, given the success of the show in America, that the creators have waited this long to tap into its retail potential. Neame says that NBC were 'extremely cautious' and didn't want to launch products in case viewers lost interest after a couple of seasons. He explained: 'In retail terms, the first series launched the program and the brand, the second year ratified it and the show didn’t even hit its high point in the U.S. until this year when series three ended in the US. It’s very rare for a British drama to have this much retail potential and merchandizing value.'
There's no word yet on whether the range will be available here in the UK, but it would be worth a transatlantic flight to fill our own country houses pokey flats with 'Downton Abbey' paraphernalia.
Take a look at the gallery above for some of the Downton goodies we'd love to get our hands on.