Emotional day for cast as Downton Abbey finishes filming final series

The cast of Downton Abbey gather for press call after final day of filming. Credit: PA

The Downton Abbey cast revealed it had been emotional as they wrapped filming on the final scenes of the sixth season, which will be the ITV drama's last.

They gathered together at a press screening at the Mayfair Hotel in London.

Joanna Froggatt, Michelle Dockery and Dame Maggie Smith share a laugh at the Downton press screening. Credit: PA

But it wasn't all tears - Joanna Froggatt, who plays lady's maid Anna Bates, said although it was a sad day, "it felt like a good time to finish".

I just had my own tears, but it developed into everybody in tears by the end of the day, so I think I would have been been in absolute pieces if I'd been there for that very last momen.

Joanna Froggatt

As for what's next, Dame Maggie Smith, who plays the Dowager Countess, plans to relax with a Downton Abbey box-set.

I'm going to be lying down. I believe for quite some time. The other thing I will be doing is watching it. I will get the box set and have a good look. I certainly haven't watched anything that I've done. I have seen some of it, but I want to sit down and look at it all.

Dame Maggie Smith

Downton Abbey is the highest rating UK television drama of the past decade, with an average of 11 million viewers over the course of the last five series.

But writer and creator Julian Fellowes said it was the right time to bring the series to an end.

The characters have been so real to me for six years. I say goodbye to these golden years with a slight pang. But it seems the right time to go while we're still firing.

Julian Fellowes

But the writer did hint at the possibility of a Downton film:

Were there ever to be a Downton movie, it would strangely have to be just like the TV show, and yet at the same time completely different.

Julian Fellowes
Julian Fellowes at the BAFTA Downton Abbey Celebration on Tuesday. Credit: PA

The drama was presented with a Bafta special award earlier this week, in recognition of its contribution to television in the UK and around the world.

The final season will air in the autumn on ITV.