Downton star Elizabeth McGovern: I'm happy to say goodbye to Lady Cora

Credit: ITV

Fans of Downton Abbey might be sad it is drawing to an end - but that's not true of the all the actors in the show.

Elizabeth McGovern, who plays Lady Cora in the award-winning ITV drama, says she is happy to say goodbye to her character after five years.

She told ITV News: "Of course there is sadness, but there is a natural end to everything.

"I need to lay her down, put her to sleep and let her rest. We've lived together for quite some time now."

McGovern was already an established actress before landing the part on Downton.

But as well as acting, she has also carved out a career as a musician with her band Sadie and the Hotheads.

They are now working on their fourth album and are currently on a mini-tour of the UK starting at Bush Hall in London on Friday.

I'm loving doing my music. If that's all I did for the rest of my life I'd be very happy. >

Elizabeth McGovern

Despite that, McGovern said she was looking at a few acting projects - but would only do it if it was something she was really passionate about it.

Asked if a Downton film was in the pipeline, she said: "It's impossible for me to say.

"Who knows what we will be all be doing and how everyone will feel about it in a year?"

She revealed there were plenty of tears when she cast filmed their last scenes - but remained tight-lipped on what the final ending will be.

Last week's dramatic episode showed her character's husband Lord Grantham rushed to hospital after his stomach ulcer burst at the dinner table.

The final series of Downton continues on ITV on Sunday at 9pm.