Bodyguards are required by all sorts of people nowadays from every field of work imaginable. Anyone undertaking close protection courses will be trained to deal with many different types of situations, including how to protect famous people from crazed or obsessed fans. Julian Fellowes is the creator and writer of the international hit TV show Downton Abbey. He may seem like an unlikely fellow to need a bodyguard, but after one of the show’s central characters was killed off at the end of season three, Fellowes faced a huge uproar from fans. The writer has recently revealed that he felt the backlash was so severe that he was afraid to leave the house without suitable protection.
“I was afraid to go out without bodyguards,” he said whilst speaking on US TV. “I was very interested by that. People don’t understand that we’re not in control of that kind of stuff, if an actor wants to leave the show.”
Many TV stars hire security from people that have fully qualified from bodyguard courses. Fans often become so attached to fictional characters that they are unable to distinguish between a TV show and the real world. Matthew Crawley was one of the most popular characters in Downton Abbey, but when the actor Dan Stevens decided that he wanted to leave the show, it left Julian Fellowes with little choice but to kill his character off.
“I love Dan. I wish him nothing but good things,” he said. “But he felt he’d done his three years, and that was the end of that, and he wanted to go on. Of course we couldn’t suddenly make him unhappy and hating Mary and never wanting to see her again. It just wasn’t believable. So I’m afraid it was looking very bad for him. But that was extraordinary. We did get an absolute barrage of criticism for that. It’s calmed down a bit now, actually, but I don’t know. What I’m always rather touched by is the way these people become real to the audience.”
Quality SIA close protection officers are highly prized within the showbiz world. Public figures can often become hate targets from deranged individuals. It is often up to a protection officer to notice and decrease the heat of a threatening event before a situation becomes too serious. Most fans are lovely and are happy to leave their idols in peace. But it only takes one bad apple to cause serious damage.
Anyone thinking of training up as a bodyguard should be prepared to learn a number of skills which can be deployed in everyday life. Discretion is essential, as security staff are often privy to private conversations which should be kept strictly confidential. Most people thinking about becoming security staff have a number of questions that they would like to be answered before signing up to a course. Julian Fellowes fortunately feels a bit safer now that the initial uproar over Downton Abbey has calmed down, but his bodyguards gave great peace of mind.
About the Author – Sarah Makinson is a regular contributor to a number of consumer and lifestyle blogs, including Wilplan Training.