The long-rumoured movie version of hit show Downton Abbey looks ever more likely as one of the actors has appeared to confirm the involvement of Maggie Smith in such a project.

Smith, 81, who won an Emmy for her performance as Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham in the show, had previously been sceptical about the endeavour, saying a year ago she feared her character’s advancing years ruled her out of such an appearance.

Asked if she would appear in any film, Smith told Graham Norton: “I can’t –what age would she be? By the time we finished, she must have been about 110. It couldn’t go on and on, it just didn’t make sense.”

But at a Bafta event in Los Angeles over the weekend, Michael Fox, who plays friendly valet Andy Parker on the show, said that Smith signing on meant the film would not only proceed –but be the better for it.

“The film without her would still be good with all the other actors,”he was quoted by MailOnline, “but it puts a stamp of quality with her in it.”

At the same event, show creator and writer Julian Fellowesexpressed enthusiasm about the prospect.

“I think it will be fun to get everyone together,”he said, “and move it to a larger scale because you have got more money to spend.”

Speaking to Good Morning Britain following the victory on Sunday, Fellowes reiterated his commitment. “I would love to make [a Downtown movie],”he said. “As far as I am concerned, I am completely up for it. Most of the cast are up for it.”