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'Spooks', 'Downton Abbey' scheduling clash played down by BBC

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Downton Abbey will air in the same timeslot as the last series of Spooks, it has emerged.

The BBC will schedule the spy show in the prestigious Sunday 9pm hour on BBC One, where it will go head-to-head with ITV1's hit period drama.

However, a BBC spokesperson played down the clash, stating: "Downton and Spooks are very different shows and offer a real alternative for audiences.

Harry Pearce and Lucas North from Spooks

© BBC

Downton Abbey

© ITV



"This is the last ever series of Spooks and we wanted to celebrate this and make it a special event for viewers in the Sunday 9pm slot.

"It is not unusual for drama to go up against drama here, for example, David Tennant's Single Father did last year and ITV1's Vera was up against BBC One's Exile earlier this year."

Downton Abbey's first series in 2010 averaged a colossal 9m in the ratings last year, while the ninth series of the long-running Spooks took around 5m per episode.

> Why Digital Spy is sad to see 'Spooks' end

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