A fond farewell to Downton Abbey

We can promise a final season full of all the usual drama and intrigue, but with the added excitement of discovering how and where they all end up...

– Gareth Naeme, Executive Producer

After five series of drama for the Crawleys, season six will see us bidding a fond farewell to the family and those who serve them in the final ever episodes of Downton Abbey.

Speaking about the show coming to a close, writer, creator and Executive Producer Julian Fellowes admitted: "People ask if we knew what was going to happen when we started to make the first series and the answer is that, of course we had no idea."

But key storylines like Mary losing her beloved Matthew, Carson proposing to Mrs Hughes and Edith finally finding love (and tragically having it taken from her) have kept us all glued to our television screens over the last five years. It is these storylines and the quality of the production that have contributed to Downton Abbey becoming one of the most popular UK dramas of the decade and helped the show scoop a huge number of awards around the world.

Downton Abbey will come to a close on Christmas Day 2015 on ITV - which will certainly be one to remember - but until then you can relive the highs, the lows and the most magical moments of the many seasons right here.

Thank you for watching, laughing and crying with us.

Watch the cast reveal their favourite quotes from the Dowager
How posh are the cast of Downton Abbey?
How well do you know Carson? Take the quiz

Downton Abbey wins best drama at the NTAs

Join us in a toast to the cast and crew of Downton Abbey as they scoop the award for Best Drama at The National Television Awards 2015.

Phyllis Logan (Mrs Hughes) paid homage to the other sterling shows nominated, including Dr Who and Sherlock. “How amazing to be in that fantastic category, all absolutely wonderful dramas... I love them all."

Creator Julian Fellows added “To receive this award after the fifth series is the greatest compliment we could imagine. And although a little surprised because of the quality of the other shows, nevertheless we are all incredibly grateful. “

Thanks to everyone who voted. We look forward to seeing you again at Downton Abbey later in the year.

Watch - just how posh are the cast?

"In Essex? Isn't it terribly damp?" The best Dowager quotes

George Clooney to appear in Downton

Hollywood star George Clooney will make a guest appearance with Downton Abbey for ITV's Text Santa.

The specially-written sketch has already been filmed and will appear in December along with many other exciting surprises in Text Santa, ITV's annual charity appeal.

Stay tuned for more details about the three hour entertainment extravaganza - coming soon!

Find out more about Text Santa.

New cast members for series five

Fans of Downton, prepare to rejoice, as we have exciting casting news for your very eyes.

Yes, a number of new cast members will be setting foot in Downton Abbey and joining our already stellar line-up of existing cast on set for series five.

Rather excitingly, acting stalwart Richard E. Grant is joining the show as Simon Bricker who visits Downton as a guest of the Granthams.

Anna Chancellor (most widely known for her roles in The Hour and Four Weddings and a Funeral) also joins in a guest role, playing Lady Anstruther. The BAFTA nominated actress comes fresh from her recent success in the West End, where she starred in Noel Coward's Private Lives.

We are delighted to welcome these talented actors to the world of Downton. The characters they play are set to bring yet more excitement and intrigue to the show

– Downton’s Executive Producer, Gareth Neame

Internationally acclaimed actor Rade Sherbedgia will play a Russian refugee who has fled the Russian Revolution after the First World War, whilst Dame Harriet Walter will reprise her role as Lady Shackleton. Peter Egan will also return to Downton as Lord Flintshire.

We think it's fair to say that this is all very exciting news. Now quick, roll on series five!

Downton to return for series five

Ladies and Gentlemen, we're delighted to announce that Downton Abbey will be back for a phenomenal fifth series.

Audience figures for the fourth series have hit an average 11.8 million viewers – making it the highest rated drama on television in 2013.

Once again Julian Fellowes will be putting pen to paper as writer of the new series and will continue Executive Producing duties with Gareth Neame and Liz Trubridge.

We promise all the usual highs and lows, romance, drama and comedy played out by some of the most iconic characters on television.

All the actors and makers of the show continue to be humbled by the extraordinary audience response and want to take the show from strength to strength next year.

– Gareth Neame, Executive Producer

Vote for Downton in the NTAs

Downton Abbey has been nominated for Best Drama at the National Television Awards.

But that's not all, the phenomenal Maggie Smith is also up for Best Drama Performance.

Voting has now closed - thank you.