Dockery: No tragedy for Downton

This Is Lancashire: Michelle Dockery has been talking about the festive Downton Abbey storyline Michelle Dockery has been talking about the festive Downton Abbey storyline

Michelle Dockery has teased that this Christmas will be a happier one for the residents of Downton Abbey.

The actress, who plays Lady Mary Crawley, hinted this year's Christmas episode of the ITV period drama would not end in tragedy, following the screen death of her character's husband Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens) in a car accident last year.

"It's an extravagant episode. I think it's one for everyone to look forward to and there aren't any accidents in this one. No one's Christmas is going to be ruined this year so I can assure you of that," she joked.

Michelle was joined by some of her co-stars including Laura Carmichael, Hugh Bonneville, Lesley Nicol, Allen Leech, Rob James-Collier and writer Julian Fellowes in New York for a preview screening and panel discussion of the fourth season.

Hugh, who plays Lord Grantham, said fans should be satisfied with the festive episode, which will see guest star Paul Giamatti as Lady Grantham's brother, Shirley MacLaine returning as Lady Grantham's mother Martha and James Fox as aristocrat Lord Aysgarth.

"It's absolutely sumptuous and it really involves my niece Lady Rose being presented at court. That's one of the main threads of the story and so there's a lot of partying," he said.

"We open up the London house so you see the same characters (in) a whole new situation. It's very spectacular. It's very sumptuous to look at. There's some intriguing little subplots that will keep you on your toes but the main thing is this wonderful celebration of the family and we get to see a bit of royalty."

The two-hour stand-alone episode of the award-winning ITV series, which will be shown at 8.30pm on Christmas Day, picks up the story six months on from the end of series four.

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