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Christmas for the real life residents of Highclere Castle

Christmas tree on the set of Downton Abbey Credit: ITV Meridian

Now Christmas Day wouldn't be the same without turkey, crackers and of course Downton Abbey. It's set to hit out screens for a special episode next Thursday. Last year fans of the series were shocked when Matthew Crawley, Lady Mary's husband died. So is Christmas at the real Downton - Highclere Castle in Hampshire - as dramatic? Mel Bloor has itsstory.


We meet the cast of the new series of Downton Abbey

Back in time. It's 1924, there's a Labour Government in charge in Britain for the first time and the Charleston still reigns on the dance floor. The stage is set - Hampshire's Highclere Castle the location - and Earl and Countess of Grantham are ready to hold court. It's almost time for the new series of Downton Abbey. With Hampshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire providing the backdrops, we'll be reunited with those upstairs and downstairs preparing to face a new, more modern world. Amanda Piper has been to meet the cast.

Downton Abbey designer's auction

He's a leading interior designer and architect whose projects have featured in the ITV series Downton Abbey. But now Giles Newby Vincent is selling his own historic house and its contents.

Giles has worked for clients including Sir Elton John and Lord Heseltine. And his extraordinary eye for antiques has helped him build up a remarkable collection at his home in Kent. Malcolm Shaw reports.

New cast members joining Downton Abbey

Carnival Films and ITV today announced a number of new cast members joining Series 5 of the Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning hit drama Downton Abbey_.

New cast members are joining series 5 of Downton Abbet=y Credit: ITV Meridian

Richard E. Grant is joining the show, which is filmed at Highclere Castle on the Hampshire/Berkshire border.

He's joining the cast as Simon Bricker who visits Downton Abbey as a guest of the Granthams.

Anna Chancellor joins as a guest role, playing Lady Anstruther. The BAFTA nominated actress comes from her recent success in the West End in Private Lives._

Internationally acclaimed actor Rade Sherbedgia will play a Russian refugee, who has fled the Russian revolution after the First World War.

Returning guest cast member Dame Harriet Walter will reprise her role as Lady Shackleton, along with Peter Egan, returning as Lord Flintshire.

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