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February 15, 2013

The Associated Press

Maggie Smith, who plays Dowager Countess Grantham, in “Downton Abbey,” can’t be accused of being self-absorbed – she hasn’t seen the show.

'Abbey's' Dowager Countess confesses to a shocking secret

From news service reports

NEW YORK - Here's some "Downton Abbey" news that's almost as shocking as what happened to Lady Sybil a few weeks back: The Dowager Countess herself, Maggie Smith, has never seen a single episode of the hugely popular PBS costume drama in which she stars.

Quick, someone fetch the smelling salts!

The actress, who's twice won an Emmy for her performance on the series, made the stunning confession in an interview scheduled to air this Sunday on "60 Minutes."

The subject came up when correspondent Steve Kroft asked if she was proud of the phenomenal success of "Downton Abbey." After a pause, she explained that she wasn't quite able to answer because she hasn't actually seen the finished product. "I don't sit down and watch it."

"You must be the only person in England who's not watching," Kroft replied (more like the whole world, Steve).

"Well, that's a record then, isn't it, of some sort," she fired back, sounding very much like the Dowager Countess.

Smith predicted that she'll probably give in once the series is all over (funny, we never would have pegged her for a binge-viewer) but that for now it's too frustrating to watch her own work. "I always see things that I would like to do differently and think, 'Oh, why in the name of God did I do that?"'

So why do it at all? "It's the delight of acting," she said.

In truth, the news isn't all that shocking, given Smith's wonderfully above-it-all attitude about showbiz in general. Like Woody Allen, she's a perennial no-show (as well as a perennial favorite) at just about every awards show imaginable.

Gaga ends tour as injured hip needs surgery

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Lady Gaga has canceled the rest of her tour dates due to a hip injury.

Live Nation Global Touring said in a news release Wednesday that Lady Gaga has a tear in her right hip that will require surgery, followed by a recovery period.

The pop star's website showed 21 dates through March 20 remaining on her "Born This Way Ball" tour schedule.

Pollstar reported the tour made more than $161 million in 2012 with an average attendance of more than 31,000, making it the fifth-highest grossing tour.

Lady Gaga postponed four dates on Tuesday after experiencing difficulties during her concert in Montreal. The singer's show is high energy with non-stop dancing. She explained to fans on Twitter that she'd hurt herself while performing some time ago.

Mysterious 911 calls have Couric, police guessing

NEW YORK - Katie Couric is losing sleep over some odd 911 calls.

New York City police said Thursday they had been called to Couric's Manhattan home several times recently because of 911 calls traced to a phone listed there. The 911 operator hears only static, but police are compelled to answer each call.

The calls come on Tuesdays at 2 a.m., as Couric told an audience at her talk show's taping this week.

Police say they are investigating whether something's wrong with her phone or if Couric is the victim of a high-tech prankster. Couric called New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly to ask advice on what to do, and is awaiting the results of the investigation.



Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga

Katie Couric



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