Downton Abbey Christmas spoilers! Alun Armstrong joins, Anna’s in jail & more!

by Lisa McGarry


ITV have finally announced details of the Downton Abbey Christmas episode which is to be set in the autumn of 1924, when the drama returns to our screens on the 25th December. The two hour episode will be shown on ITV on Christmas Day.

There will be a number of new additions to the cast for the special instalment, including cast Alun Armstrong (New Tricks, Braveheart, Sleepy Hollow), who will take on the role of Stowell, the Sinderbys’ butler. Also joining is BAFTA Award nominee, Jane Lapotaire (Blind Justice, Shooting Fish, There’s Only One Jimmy Grimble) who will play the much talked about Princess Irina, wife of Prince Kuragin (Rade Sherbedgia).

As the show returns to our screens Rose’s father-in-law, Lord Sinderby, will be seen hosting a grouse shooting event at Brancaster Castle in Northumberland, to which the entire Crawley family have been invited. While the shooting goes well, Stowell (Armstrong) has an axe to grind and a scandalous secret threatens to wreak havoc on the break.

Meanwhile the servants are alone and trying to cope without Anna back at Downton. She is still in jail for murder, however her husband Bates is desperate to clear her name and goes to extreme lengths to do so. Baxter and Molesley are busy on a joint plan and Carson and Mrs Hughes consider a business venture.

Downton Abbey S5The fifth series, set in 1924, sees the return of our much loved characters in the sumptuous setting of Downton Abbey. As they face new challenges, the Crawley family and the servants who work for them remain inseparably interlinked.MATT

The episode will feature returning stars Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Elizabeth McGovern, Jim Carter, Penelope Wilton, Phyllis Logan, Laura Carmichael, Lily James, Allen Leech, Brendan Coyle, Joanne Froggatt, Lesley Nicol, Sophie McShera, Robert James-Collier, Kevin Doyle, Raquel Cassidy, Sue Johnston, Jeremy Swift, Douglas Reith, Fifi Hart and Zac and Oliver Barker.

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Making a return to Downton Abbey are James Faulkner and Penny Downie as Lord and Lady Sinderby, along with their son and Lady Rose’s husband Matt Barber as Atticus Aldridge. Rade Sherbedgia will also reprise his role as Prince Kuragin and Michael Fox will play footman Andy.