A popular ITV period drama written by a Dorset resident could make a return to TV screens nine years after its final episode.

Downton Abbey, the historical series set between 1911 to 1926 in a country estate in Yorkshire and created by West Stafford resident Lord Julian Fellowes, could be revived.

It is thought that a new series has already started filming, and could be expected to arrive on screens ‘by the end of the year.’

According to a report, a source close to the production said: “Filming has been going on for a few weeks now. It’s all very, very secret. There are people working on it who have never seen secrecy like it.”

Lord Fellowes, who is heavily involved in Dorset life as a patron of many organisations, has never ruled out a return for the show.

In an interview he said: “I have said goodbye to Downton so many times, and I have written the last scene six or seven times.

“Now I’ve got out of the habit of making permanent statements about whether it’s gone.”

The period drama, which spanned six critically-acclaimed seasons and was aired between 2010 to 2015, delves into the lives of an aristocratic family and their domestic servants in the post-Edwardian era.

Following the end of the series, plans were drawn up for a feature length film in 2018 which hit screens a year later. The sequel, Downton Abbey: A New Era was released by Universal Pictures and premiered in 2022.

The story of the sequel picked up the plot from the autumn of 1927, where Lord and Lady Grantham and the extended Crawley family were preparing for a visit from the reigning King George V and finished with Tom and Lucy Branson returning to Downton with their child.

Dorset Echo:

At the time of writing, there has been no confirmation from ITV that a new series has been commissioned.

Dorset Echo:

Despite no new episodes airing in recent years, the show has remained popular among its fans due to all series being available to stream on the service Netflix, as well as ITVX.

The series also has a huge following in the United States, where Lord Fellowes' new period drama The Gilded Age, which is set in New York. has proved popular.

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