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“IF I could stop history in its tracks maybe I would.

“But I can’t, Carson.

“Nor you nor I can hold back time.”

Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville) in the opening episode of the sixth and final series of Downton Abbey, which begins early in 1925.

Setting the scene for what is to come.

I attended the London premiere of Downton Abbey 6.1 yesterday.

Followed by two press conferences and then the usual afternoon of embargoed round table interviews with the cast.

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THE naked truth about the changing world around Downton Abbey is revealed in tonight’s episode. (Sunday October 19)
  
There are racy headlines in the library as Lady Rose (Lily James) reads out a magazine article about the opening of a “nudist colony” in Essex.
  
With writer Julian Fellowes making reference to the real life Moonella Group in Wickford, which in 1924 became the first naturist club in Britain with an established home.

This photograph is (C) Carnival Film & Television Ltd and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with Downton Abbey, Carnival Film & Television Ltd or ITV plc. Once made available by ITV plc Picture Desk, this photograph can

“I’LL be dandy…”

It’s farewell to footman Jimmy (Ed Speleers) in this Sunday’s second episode of Downton Abbey series five (ITV, 9pm).

And hello to Richard E. Grant as art expert Simon Bricker.

I’ve now seen the first four episodes of the new series with plenty for Downton fans to look forward to in the weeks ahead.

Including Lady Mary’s (Michelle Dockery) trip to Liverpool, the latest developments involving the late Mr Green and a surprising turn of events for Violet (Maggie Smith).

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“LIFE is strange, isn’t it?”

Downton Abbey series three, episode nine.

Otherwise known as the 2012 Christmas Special, just broadcast by ITV1 tonight – December 25 – in the UK.

If you have yet to watch it, do NOT read any further.

Come back later once you have viewed.

That obviously also goes for our American cousins waiting for series three to begin on PBS on Jan 6.

As well as other Downton fans across the globe who are not yet up to the UK series pace.

There are major spoilers below.

So unless you want to read them, stop now.

He’s not writing about us again, is he?

“I’m looking forward to all sorts of things,” exclaims Matthew Crawley.

He’s talking to his wife-to-be Lady Mary in the first episode of Downton Abbey series three.

I’m guessing you’re also looking forward to all sorts of Downton fun in the coming weeks.

So you will find only the mildest of spoilers below.

Will Matthew (Dan Stevens) and Mary’s (Michelle Dockery) wedding go ahead without a hitch?

Or will there be last minute complications?

Can Downton be saved in the face of a financial crisis?

And how long before Mr Bates (Brendan Coyle) hits his cell mate?

I saw the 90 minute opening episode and highlights from the rest of the series at the London press launch way back in July.

The verdict of the massed ranks of Her Majesty’s Press?

Julian Fellowes’ Downton is very much back on top form.

I know Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville) and co have their critics.

But, frankly, I could watch Mr Carson (Jim Carter) saying, “That treacle tart just hit the spot,” all night long.

Dan Stevens as Matthew and Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary.

STRICTLY Come Downton is set to waltz off with the Christmas Day TV ratings glitterball.

Downton Abbey stars will be tripping the light fantastic in their feature length ITV1 special which includes upstairs dancing with downstairs at the New Year servants’ ball.

ITV has released the first photo from the much anticipated feature length Downton Abbey Christmas Special.

(Click on the image to enlarge)

L-R: NIGEL HAVERS as Lord Hepworth, SAMANTHA BOND as Lady Rosamund Painswick, HUGH BONNEVILLE as Robert, IAIN GLEN Sir Richard Carlisle, MICHELLE DOCKERY as Lady Mary Crawley and DAN STEVENS as Matthew Crawley.

The special, which takes us into the New Year of 1920, has yet to be scheduled although there is speculation it will broadcast on Christmas Day or Boxing Day.