By Tara Fowler
January 16, 2013 at 08:51 PM EST
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With all the Downton Abbey love out there, it was only a matter of time before the celebrity haters came out of the woodwork. While sitting on a TCA panel for PBS’s Shakespeare Uncovered, Jeremy Irons skewered the popular series, going so far as to compare it to a Ford Fiesta.

“What I’m really excited about with Shakespeare Uncovered is we’ll see some of the best British actors playing Shakespeare,” Irons said, according to The Wrap. “What you can do is to open up to this huge American audience… show them that actually television doesn’t end with Downton Abbey. If you think that’s good, then watch the Shakespeare productions. You’ll see what real writing, what real stories, what real characters are about.” He added: “A Ford Fiesta will get you there and give you a good time. But actually an Aston Martin…”

When we reached out for comment, Irons’ publicist Sally Fischer clarified the actor’s remarks, insisting they weren’t meant to be a dig at the show. “I was there,” she wrote in an email to EW. “What he said was Downton Abbey, terrific; Shakespeare, the best. I think there would be few who would dispute the point.”

ITV and PBS did not respond for comment.

Read more:

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‘Downton Abbey’ costumer on Lady Edith’s wedding look: ‘I wanted you to be devastated as an audience’

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The war is over, but intrigue, crisis, romance, and change still grip the beloved estate.
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