God's absence from Downton Abbey was noted a couple of years ago, but it turns out it was more by design than by accident. The historical advisor to the show told the Telegraph earlier this week that DA bent over backwards to keep God out of it. On the absence of a mealtime 'grace':
“In essence you hardly ever see a table that isn’t already sat at. We never see the beginning of a luncheon or a dinner, because no one was ever allowed to see a grace being said, and I would never allow them to sit down without having said grace.
“I think that the view was that we’d leave religion out of it, and it would’ve taken extra time too. I suggested a Latin grace, but they decided that was too far, and no one would’ve known what was going on.”
Mr Bruce said that he was even banned from featuring napkins folded in the shape of a bishop’s mitre, for fear of breaching the religious edict. “Everyone panics when you try to do anything religious on the telly,”
The US screening of the show even looked at leaving out the word 'Abbey' from the title. So you leave out a prayer of thanks, but call the dog Isis.....
It's ironic that the very article which broke this story writes this about the Christmas episode: The feature-length yuletide edition will be the show’s last ever episode, ... though to be fair it does use the word 'Christmas' too.
Even though the stories are usually fake, it's no surprise that 'Christmas banned by local council in....' gains such traction and is believed by so many people. If you can't screen a prayer on a Sunday night costume drama, when can you?