TV preview: Downton Abbey

Lily James returns to the Downton Abbey cast as Lady Rose for the drama's final episode.

Lily James returns to the Downton Abbey cast as Lady Rose for the drama's final episode.

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Gather your family and grab your hankies – the last ever episode of Downton Abbey is fast approaching.

It’s been something of a long goodbye. Ever since March we’ve known that this series would be the last (unless the rumours of a spin-off film come good...) But before we bid adieu to those upstairs and downstairs, there is of course a Christmas Day special.

As ever, the programme-makers are keeping mum on the major plot lines in the grand festive farewell, but what we do know is that the episode will see Mary (Michelle Dockery) trying to build bridges with her sister Edith (Laura Carmichael) following their showdown in the penultimate episode.

Elsewhere, Henry (Matthew Goode) is settling into his new role as husband to Mary and stepfather to her son, George, but is struggling to find his place at Downton; meanwhile, Carson the butler (Jim Carter) is facing some personal challenges; actors Lily James and Matt Barber return as Lady Rose and Atticus Aldridge, while Miranda actress Patricia Hodge makes a guest appearance as Bertie Pelham’s mum.

There’s bound to be a few twists along the way and it’s bound to be a fitting farewell.

Downton Abbey, ITV, Christmas Day 8.45pm

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