“SHE is always chasing the dream in her head.

“Chasing a fairy tale throughout her whole life.”

Downton Abbey star Joanne Froggatt talking to me about her new screen role as Mary Ann Cotton in Dark Angel.

A 2 x 90 minute drama written by Gwyneth Hughes starting on ITV at 9pm next Monday (Oct 31).

Also coming to MASTERPIECE on PBS in 2017.

Telling the true story of the woman dubbed Britain’s first female serial killer.

With Alun Armstrong as Mary Ann’s father George and Jonas Armstrong as her lover Joe Nattrass.


“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.


“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.

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 series two cast.

“YOU’LL find there’s never a dull moment in this house.”

Just one of many classic new lines from Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham (Dame Maggie Smith) in the second series of Downton Abbey.

The press were invited to Downton on Friday for the launch of the eight-part 2011 series, which will be followed by a Christmas special.

Or rather Highclere Castle in Berkshire, the real life location for the “upstairs” scenes in ITV1’s Yorkshire-set global hit.

Joanne Froggatt as Anna

THE 6am alarm call is never welcome on a Saturday.

But it has afforded me time to polish the silver and iron the morning newspapers.

Now, in a brief respite from my duties, I am told the Manchester Evening News – said to be favoured by Mr Crawley – has this very day published my discussion with a young lady by the name of Joanne Froggatt.

Who may also be known to some of you as Anna, the head housemaid at Downton Abbey.