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Downton Abbey stars speak of sadness as show's end draws nearer

Downton Abbey stars have spoken of their sadness that the hugely successful period drama is drawing to a close.

The cast of Downton Abbey Credit: PA Wire

Jim Carter, who plays butler Mr Carson, said it was probably "the right time" but added that the cast would "miss it enormously" when the ITV show bows out later this year after series six and a Christmas special.

Speaking at The Downton Abbey Ball in aid of Centrepoint at London's Savoy Hotel, Carter said: "It's probably the right time - everything has to come to an end, but we shall miss it enormously.

"I shall miss the fact that it's dictated my life for the last six years, but then there's always the challenge of doing something new so that's alright, I'll take it in my stride."

Jim Carter Credit: PA Wire

He added that he hoped his character's romance with housekeeper Mrs Hughes would continue: "I'll leave that to Julian Fellowes (series creator) but Mr Carson and Mrs Hughes have got to get together, haven't they?"

Samantha Bond, who plays Lady Rosamund, said she would not waste a moment of the final series, which is currently being filmed.

"You know you're coming to the end of something so you grasp everything, each moment, to enjoy and savour," she said.

Samantha Bond Credit: PA Wire

Meanwhile, Laura Carmichael, who plays Lady Edith, was in no doubt about who would be the most upset in the cast: "We were asked who was going to cry the most and everyone said me. I would say me too, I'm the weak one."

Some of the stars also addressed the rumours that Fellowes is plotting a Downton film.

Bond said: "I have only heard it as a rumour as well, but obviously everyone would be delighted to do it.

"It's a question of how do you get everyone in the right place and people back together again at the same time."

Asked if she would take part, Carmichael said: "I don't know, I'd have to have a look at the script, if Julian writes one."