What Downton Abbey stars have said about show's comeback

Filming is said to be under way on a series

Downton Abbey (Credit: Focus Features)
There have been six series of Downton Abbey and two films. (Focus Features)

It's the news Downton Abbey fans have been waiting for - the beloved period drama is apparently returning.

The last series about the Crawley family aired in 2015, wrapping up with a Christmas special. But now eight years later it has been reported that filming on another season has secretly started.

Not much is known about the plot and who has signed up, but according to the Daily Mail the series is expected to drop later this year.

When did Downton Abbey air and who starred in the show?

The programme, which is set in the early 20th century, started in 2010 on ITV and boasted a starry cast including the likes of Hugh Bonneville (as Robert Crawley, the Earl of Grantham), Jessica Brown Findlay, Laura Carmichael, Michelle Dockery and Maggie Smith. It ran for six series, including several Christmas specials, before ending at the end of 2015.

'Downton Abbey' launched in 2010. (ITV)
Is Downton Abbey coming back? (ITV)

Three years later Downton returned, but this time in movie form. The film adaptation was unveiled in September 2019 and in 2022 a follow up, Downton Abbey: A New Era, was released.

What is the word on the rumoured new series?

Things have been pretty quiet on the Downton front since then but fans have been eager for more action from the Crawleys. And it seems they could be getting their wish.

The Mail reported that filming has been going on for a few weeks and that the whole project is shrouded in secrecy. It isn't even known which cast members are returning.

"It was such a huge success before and there are so many more stories to be told, it seemed such a shame not to be able to make more of it but they've made it happen," a source was quoted as saying.

WINDSOR, ENGLAND - MAY 07: Hugh Bonneville backstage at the Coronation Concert held in the grounds of Windsor Castle on May 7, 2023 in Windsor, England. The Windsor Castle Concert is part of the celebrations of the Coronation of Charles III and his wife, Camilla, as King and Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the other Commonwealth realms that took place at Westminster Abbey yesterday. High-profile performers will entertain members of the royal family and 20,000 guests including 10,000 members of the public. (Photo by Ian West - Pool / Getty Images)
Hugh Bonneville stars in Downton Abbey. (Ian West - Pool / Getty Images)

What have stars said about Downton Abbey returning?

Downton creator Julian Fellowes has previously said he wasn't ruling out another series. The Sun quoted him as saying on TalkRadio last year: "I have said goodbye to Downton so many times, and I have written the last scene about six or seven times. Now I’ve got out of the habit of making permanent statements whether it's gone."

Its stars have also indicated they would be up for another go. Robert James Collier, who plays Barrow, Downton’s butler, told Yahoo after the second film was released that he would "definitely" be up for a

Opening up about his character he said Barrow was “gradually becoming more comfortable with who he is, and hopefully he can find happiness”.

“And, hopefully if he does find it, he comes back again in the third movie and establishes his happiness there and lets everybody in the Abbey know how happy he is," he said. "And so in to the fourth. And the fifth!”

Penelope Wilton stars as Isobel Merton and Dame Maggie Smith as Violet Grantham in DOWNTON ABBEY: A New Era, a Focus Features release.  
Credit: Ben Blackall / © 2022 Focus Features LLC
Penelope Wilton as Isobel Merton and Dame Maggie Smith as Violet Grantham. (Focus Features)

Elizabeth McGovern, better known to fans as Cora Crawley, said: “I feel so proud that we’ve done the almost impossible, which is to make a sequel that I think even surpasses the first one in its entertainment and enjoyment and humour and pathos.

"But it’s hard to imagine keeping that level up. For me, I would hope that we’d be able to do something that is as good as what we’ve done before, instead of just doing it again for the sake of it.”

What have fans said?

Rumours about a comeback have sparked excitement among fans, with many taking to X to share their thoughts.

One posted that it was "great news" as someone else said it was "splendid". "CANNOT WAIT YAY!!" said another excited fan. "Please let it be true," begged another viewer.

Yahoo has contacted ITV and producers Carnival Films for comment.

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Watch: Downton Abbey: A New Era: Could there be a third movie?