Amy Nuttall as Ethel Parks

DOWNTON Abbey returns for a second series in the UK next month.

My report and photos from last Friday’s Press Launch at Highclere Castle are here.

Among those I spoke to was new Downton recruit Amy Nuttall.

An early taste of the interview – with mild spoilers – was published in Tuesday’s Manchester Evening News, but has yet to go online.

So let’s put that right below, shall we?

The final scene

AND so we say farewell to The Royal.

ITV1’s long-running 1960s’ drama ended on Sunday evening with a cliffhanger worthy of the Scarborough rocks by the real life location for Elsinby’s St Aidan’s Royal Free Hospital.

Stabbed Dr Gordon Ormerod (Robert Daws) lay at death’s door on the operating table as Mr Rose (Denis Lill) battled to save his life.

Gordon’s tearful wife Dr Jill Weatherill (Amy Robbins) watching through a window, supported by ever marvellous Matron (Wendy Craig).

BACK from an amazing week in Hungary, on the Budapest set of ITV1 drama Titanic.

Written by Julian Fellowes, it is due to be screened both in the UK and around the globe in 2012 to mark the 100th anniversary of the sinking of Titanic.

Having been bought by a large number of broadcasters, including ABC Network in America.

I was the first journalist on the incredible Stern Studios sets on Monday and the last to leave at the end of the week.

Completing, to date, a total of 22 one-to-one interviews, including 16 principal cast plus Julian and key members of the production team.

Michael Collings

BACK from the London press launch for Britain’s Got Talent 2011.

Where the media saw most of the first audition show to be broadcast on ITV1 at 8:20pm this Saturday.

Followed by a Q&A with judges Michael McIntyre, Amanda Holden and David Hasselhoff.

Michael and David are new to the show this year, thanks to the absence of both Simon Cowell and Piers Morgan.

And on the evidence of programme one, neither Simon nor Piers will be missed.

Anne Reid in Marchlands

SHE’S told the story before.

But it’s one worth repeating in the wake of ITV’s decision to move out of its historic Manchester HQ in Quay Street.

“When I went to Granada in the 1960s it was like a cottage industry,” recalls Anne Reid.

“One night it was foggy and before the Law Courts were built there was a wonderful pub called the New Theatre Inn, where we all used to go as a Granada watering hole.

“And we got stuck, some of us.

“We actually climbed over the back wall of Granada and went and opened the dressing rooms and slept in there all night.

“You couldn’t do that today. You’d set off every alarm in the world.

“Different days.”

That was one tale I didn’t have room to fit into my feature interview with Anne, which appeared in the Manchester Evening News last Saturday.

David Suchet as Hercule Poirot

IT was the Friday before last Christmas that David Suchet finished filming Murder On The Orient Express.

Twelve months on it’s ITV1’s big Christmas Day film at 9pm.

I met up with David earlier this year to discuss his role in this iconic Poirot story.

Along with the documentary he filmed about his own journey on the real train, screened on the same channel last Sunday.

THE stars of Coronation Street talk to me on the cobbles about the show’s 50th birthday – and the tram crash.

This 20 minute podcast includes interviews with actors Ian Puleston-Davies (Owen Armstrong), Antony Cotton (Sean Tully), Craig Gazey (Graeme Proctor), Michelle Keegan (Tina McIntyre) and Steve Huison, who plays Eddie Windass.

Plus the sounds of Corrie’s Street party in the background.

Including Kym Marsh singing Son Of A Preacher Man.