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The producers of Downton Abbey, today gave casting and some plot details of Downton Abbey Series 6 Special, the final ever episode of the series.

In the UK it will be shown at Christmas 2015, in US Series 6 has yet to start. PBS will show the series from January 3rd 2016 with this special following shortly after the run of eight episodes.

We are told by producers that the last ever episode offers “all the love and loss, happiness and heartbreak of Downton Abbey.” Also that “As the family and servants prepare to welcome 1926, they celebrate an unforgettable New Year’s Eve together at the great house.

Joining the regular cast is guest star Patricia Hodge who plays Bertie Pelham’s mother. To the the UK audience she is best known as the mother in the UK comedy Miranda.

Downton Abbey, 508 - Matt Barber and Lily James
Downton Abbey, 508 – Atticus (Matt Barber) and Lady Rose (Lily James) ©2014 Carnival Films, photo by Nick Briggs
Downton Abbey, 508 - Peter Edan and Lily James
Downton Abbey, 508 – Shrimpie (Peter Edan) and Lady Rose (Lily James) ©2014 Carnival Films, photo by Nick Briggs

Lily James returns to reprise her role of Lady Rose. She had the title role in the recent live action Disney film Cinderella). Also returning is Matt Barber in his Atticus Aldridge role. We also have Lady Rose’s father, Shrimpie played by Peter Egan.

In making the Downton Abbey Series 6 Special the crew spent a week at Alnwick Castle, Northumberland, which doubled as the location for Brancaster, home of Bertie Pelham, the new Marquess of Hexham.

There was also filming in the spectacular interior rooms of the Castle as well as on the estate. The dining scenes meanwhile where actually filmed at the Iconic Ritz Hotel in central London.

Downton Abbey 6 Special - Lady Edith (Laura Carmichael) ©2015 Carnival Film & Television, photo by Nick Briggs
Downton Abbey 6 Special – Lady Edith (Laura Carmichael) ©2015 Carnival Film & Television, photo by Nick Briggs
Downton Abbey 607 - Laura Carmichael and Harry Hadden-Paton
Downton Abbey 607 – Lady Edith Crawley (Laura Carmichael) and Bertie Pelham (Harry Hadden-Paton) ©2015 Carnival Film & Television, photo by Nick Briggs

Downton Abbey Series 6 Special – Official lowdown

Mary endeavours to build bridges with her sister while Edith’s secret continues to pose a threat, despite having nothing left to lose.

As Henry settles into the role of husband and stepfather, finding his place at Downton proves more difficult.

Below stairs, Carson faces some personal challenges, which prove that even he is not invulnerable to change.

The episode will feature returning stars Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Elizabeth McGovern, Jim Carter, Penelope Wilton, Samantha Bond, Phyllis Logan, Laura Carmichael, Allen Leech, Matthew Goode, Brendan Coyle, Joanne Froggatt, Lesley Nicol, Sophie McShera, Robert James-Collier, Kevin Doyle, Raquel Cassidy, Michael Fox, Harry Hadden-Paton, Sue Johnston, Jeremy Swift, Douglas Reith, David Robb, Fifi Hart, Zac and Oliver Barker and Eva and Karina Samms.

Downton Abbey 6 Special - Matthew Goode
Downton Abbey 6 Special – Henry Talbot (Matthew Goode) ©2015 Carnival Film & Television, photo by Nick Briggs