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.

"It would appear to be the sound of series three, m'lady."

WHO lives? Who dies? And who gets married?

Those questions are answered in the final episode of Downton Abbey series two on ITV1 at 9pm this Sunday.

With ITV having confirmed a few minutes ago that series three has, indeed, been commissioned.

As if there was any doubt.

It will again consist of eight episodes covering a period of 18 months in 1920 and 1921.

You can read the full press release at the bottom of this blog.

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.

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.

Jim Carter as Mr Carson

CREATOR Julian Fellowes and the cast of Downton Abbey – just recommissioned for a second series – talk about the making of the ITV1 period drama.

This Life of Wylie podcast includes contributions from Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Jim Carter, Rob James-Collier, Joanne Froggatt and Gareth Neame.

You can download the enhanced version (with photos) below:


TUBE strike day in London earlier this month and a long walk to the launch of ITV1’s Downton Abbey in Knightsbridge.

A screening of this Sunday’s first feature length opening episode and extracts from the rest of the series was followed by Q&A sessions with members of the cast and production team.

Then small round table interviews with many of the actors involved.