FAY WELDON revealed she was sacked after writing the first three episodes of Upstairs Downstairs, the Seventies drama series and forerunner of Downton Abbey.
The reason was she refused to make the servants appear likeable.
One of her storylines was about how the cook Mrs Bridges drove a kitchen maid to commit suicide.
The actress playing Mrs Bridges didn’t like this, author told a literary festival audience at the Kenton Theatre on Sunday, and as a result she lost her job.
Weldon, 86, also revealed that her long-awaited follow-up to The Life and Loves of a She-Devil, her 1983 novel that was made into a TV series, is almost ready.
“It’s under wraps in my head,” she said before adding: “I’ve written it, I just haven’t read it yet.”