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Abbey to be back - Downton returns to screens tomorrow
2:00pm Saturday 21st September 2013 in News
THE global smash hit television series created by a West Dorset resident is back on our screens tomorrow night.
Millions of viewers will tune in for the start of the fourth series of Downton Abbey.
Created by West Stafford’s Julian Fellowes, the period drama has received critical acclaim around the world and has earned the most ever Emmy nominations of any international television series in the history of the US awards.
The story will pick up six months after the death of Matthew Crawley in a car crash, with his widow Lady Mary mourning his loss.
Lord Fellowes, pictured right, said he enjoyed penning an opulent set piece about Mary’s re-emergence onto the social scene.
“These houses were built to impress and to entertain and it just struck me as being odd that we’d never had a house party.
“I think it was two things, really: I thought it was believable that the characters of Robert and Cora would want to help their daughter start again, and me, the author, thought it would be fun to see Downton going full pitch.”
The house party will also see antipodean opera star Dame Kiri Te Kanawa providing the entertainment as Australian soprano Dame Nellie Melba.
Lord Fellowes, who recently opened the West Stafford fete and the Dorset Festival in Poundbury, said the fourth series is set in 1922.
“The fourth is more about getting into the 20s: what young people wanted, the changes in music, the arrival of the movies, cars, transport and all of that stuff.
“But also the difficulties of the big estates, with so many of them packing up.”
A number of new faces are joining the cast in series four of which two are Anthony Gillingham (Tom Cullen) and Charles Blake (Julian Ovenden).
Series four won’t be all sweetness and light, Lord Fellowes warns.
“The trick of Downton is that it’s quite funny but it makes you cry. You have to keep that in mind always- it mustn’t be so funny that it ceases to be real because then it won’t make you cry.
“But you mustn’t cry so much that you can’t then enjoy a scene in the kitchen with Mrs Patmore,” he said.
Downton Abbey returns tomorrow at 9pm on ITV.
- THE fourth series will see Gary Carr joining the cast as Downton’s first black character an American jazz singer.
We will meet Lady Grantham's boisterous brother, Harold Grantham, played by Paul Giamatti.
Lady Edith will embrace her new life and romance in London as a newspaper columnist.
The Countess of Grantham's headstrong great-niece, Lady Rose MacClare, will disguise herself as a maid to entice a gardener
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