Profile: From Downton to The Gilded Age, Julian Fellowes’ own background has allowed him to expertly detail the lives of the upper classes

The Oscar-winning screenwriter has consistently drawn on his own aristocratic upbringing for huge hits, but his latest outing has received a cooler reception

Julian Fellowes’s latest series The Gilded Age has met with a mixed reaction from critics. Illustration: Peter Hanan

In brief:

Name and role: Julian Fellowes, film director and screenwriter

Age: 72

Appearance: more like a retired bank manager on his way to a fundraising lunch with the local Rotary Club than an in-demand screenwriter and producer

Newsworthiness: The Gilded Age, his TV series about life among the upper classes in 1880s New York, is currently showing on Sky Atlantic, while a sequel to his smash hit Downton Abbey will be released in cinemas ...