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Lily James returns for Downton's final ever episode; Patricia Hodge to guest star

The final ever episode of Downton Abbey (opens in new tab) on Christmas Day will feature the return of Lily James (opens in new tab) as Lady Rose, while Patricia Hodge (opens in new tab) will guest-star as Bertie Pelham's mother.

Lady Rose was last seen in 2014 leaving for a new life in New York having just married Atticus Aldridge, played by Matt Barber, who also returns for the Christmas episode.

ITV provided a limited preview of what to expect as the Granthams and their staff prepare to welcome 1926. Mary endeavours to build bridges with Edith, while Edith’s secret continues to pose a threat, despite having nothing left to lose. As Henry settles into the role of husband and stepfather, finding his place at Downton proves more difficult.

Below stairs, Carson faces some personal challenges, which prove that even he is not invulnerable to change.

The cast and crew of Downton spent a week filming at Alnwick Castle, Northumberland, which doubled as the location for Brancaster, home of Bertie Pelham, the new Marquess of Hexham. Production also filmed dining scenes at the iconic Ritz Hotel in central London.

The Downton Abbey series six finale on Christmas Day will mark the end of an era for both the Granthams and its legion of global fans.


Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix. 

An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.