Rolling Stones Start It Up With ... Backgammon – Trim Rehearsals to Watch ‘Downton Abbey’

By Michael W. Chapman | May 13, 2013 | 12:45pm EDT

Rolling Stones guitarist Ron Wood tweeted a photo of himself preparing to "thrash" frontman Mick Jagger at backgammon before the May 5 Oracle Arena concert. (@ronniewood, Twitter)

( – The hard-rocking, hard-partying outlaws of rock n’ roll, The Rolling Stones, now turn to playing backgammon on occasion before hitting the stage and they also apparently set their rehearsal schedule on Sundays to give them time to watch the popular post-Edwardian British TV drama, “Downton Abbey.”

The Rolling Stones, whose four members are in their late 60s and early 70s now – Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood and Charlie Watts – currently are touring the Unites States on their “50 & Counting Tour.”

Before the May 5 concert at the near-20,000-seat Oracle Center in Oakland, Calif., bass guitar player Ron Wood tweeted,  “Waiting in my dressing room for @MickJagger so I can thrash him at backgammon. …,” and posted a picture.

On a related note, Wood apparently is good friends with actor Hugh Bonneville, who plays the Earl of Grantham, on the highly popular show “Downton Abbey.” Co-star Laura Carmichael, as reported in several British news outlets related, “Hugh has been hanging out with Ronnie and they have been having a great time. They met doing charity work and Ronnie told Hugh how much they loved Downton. Apparently they were stopping rehearsals on Sunday nights in time to get back to watch it."

Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger. (AP)

Carmichael, who plays Lady Edith on the ITV show, also revealed that Mick Jagger apparently spoiled one of the storylines for Wood.  As reported, Carmichael said, “When Sybil passed away, Mick said to Ronnie, ‘Sad to hear about the girl.’  Ronnie replied, ‘I haven’t seen it yet — I recorded it.’”

Last year, Jagger told Carmichael that he was a fan of the period drama. “It was crazy, he introduced himself as Mick even though we knew who he was,” she said. “He said he was a fan of the show, it was surreal.”

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