Downton Abbey‘s Julian Fellowes Gets Newport Beach Film Fest UK Icon Honor

Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes accepts Icon award during the fifth annual Newport Beach Film Festival UK Honours at The Langham Hotel in London on Thursday. (Photos by David M. Bennett/Getty Images for Newport Beach & Co.)

Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes is a busy lad. A movie is set to be released in September that is based on the television series, which debuted Sept. 26, 2010, on ITV in the UK and ran for six seasons before the final Christmas Day 2015 episode. It was, of course, also shown on the PBS Masterpiece series from Jan. 9, 2011, through March 6, 2016.

Fellowes also has long-in-development NBC series The Gilded Age slated to begin production this year, and it was announced via the Hollywood trade press today that he is reteaming with Downton producer Carnival Films for Belgravia, an adaptation of his novel set in early 19th-century London. That six-part limited series is scheduled to run on ITV and Epix in the U.S.

Despite the creative burst, Fellowes had time to stop and be honored at the Newport Beach Film Festival UK Honours Thursday at The Langham Hotel in London, where the event feting TV, film and music stars on that side of the pond kicked off the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) weekend.

Fellowes joined actress Lesley Manville (Phantom Thread, All or Nothing) and writer/producer John Llyod (Blackadder, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) in receiving Icon honors.

Honoree Louis Ashbourne Serkis with his father, fellow actor and proud papa Andy Serkis.

Other 2019 Newport Beach Film Festival UK Honours and honorees:

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN BRITISH CINEMA: Stan & Ollie (director Jon S. Baird and writer Jeff Pope)


ARTISTS OF DISTINCTION: Actor/standup comic Rob Brydon (Gavin & Stacey, The Trip), model/actress Lily Cole (Balls, Snow White and the Huntsman), actor/writer Richard Dormer (Game of Thrones, Fortitude) and actresses and Downton Abbey castmates Joanne Froggatt and Laura Carmichael.

BREAKTHROUGH ARTISTS: Actor Louis Ashbourne Serkis (The Kid Who Would be King, Mowgli) and actresses Naomi Ackie (Lady Macbeth, The Bisexual), Ellie Bamber (Nocturnal Animals, High Resolution) and Hannah John-Kamen (Ant-Man and the Wasp, Ready Player One).

As Variety has done since 2017, “the entertainment industry bible” partnered with the Newport Beach Film Festival UK Honours to present its annual list of 10 Brits to Watch. Introduced by Jenelle Riley, Variety‘s deputy awards and features editor, 2019 10 Brits to Watch Rhianne Barreto, Raffey Cassidy, Paapa Essiedu, Jess Glynne, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Billy Howle, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Jessica Swale, Joivan Wade and Fionn Whitehead will be profiled Feb. 5 in the magazine and on

The film festival, whose 20th-anniversary run is coming up April 25-May 2 throughout Newport Beach and Costa Mesa, has always included a dedicated showcase of UK films, while also featuring other British movies, artists and music videos sprinkled throughout the schedule. The festival has partnered with Visit Newport Beach to honor UK industry talent in London just ahead of the BAFTA Awards since 2015.

OC Weekly Editor-in-Chief Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the alternative newsweekly’s first calendar editor.

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