The Downton Abbey Christmas special according to the cast

"Heartwarming" and "Christmassy, "happy" AND "sad" and "no sudden deaths" - here's what the cast of ITV's hit period drama have to say about the festive episode

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With just 23 days until Christmas, the Downton Abbey festive special and return of the Crawleys is tantalisingly close. If we’re honest, we want to know what dramas are in store more than we want to know what Santa’s stuffing in our stockings. 

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And who better to ask than the cast themselves? We’ve rounded up seven little slips and secrets the cast have revealed so far. Call it an early Christmas present… 

1. “I can say that we end on a very warm, Christmassy happy/sad note and I can say that there aren’t any sudden deaths,” Elizabeth McGovern said on This Morning

2. “You’ll have a lump in your throat, but in a very nice way,” Hugh Bonneville told Graham Norton, adding that the episode will be “heartwarming” and “nice.”

3. Elizabeth McGovern also recently told STV that the episode is “very Christmassy… people who are looking for a big tree will be satisfied this year.”

4. “It’s Christmas and there is snow,” confirmed Michelle Dockery, aka Lady Mary, on STV

5. Charles Blake won’t be there. “I’m not in the Christmas special. My character went to Poland on a mini-break,” Julian Ovenden revealed on This Morning.

6. And, the most information we’ve gleaned so far comes from Allen Leech (Tom Branson), who was surprisingly forthcoming at the premiere of The Imitation Game…

“I think if he does leave, Tom will be leaving under his own steam and he won’t be dead so it doesn’t mean that he’s leaving forever. I think if he does leave, there’s always a chance that he will come back. Will I be sad? It’s been the most incredible journey doing that show so I would be sad.

“But like I said, ‘Never say never’. I’d like to finish that story out with all those people whenever that is. If he does leave it will be a nice break lately.

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“I couldn’t tell you. I couldn’t tell you. The only thing I could say is Tom is making a decision on whether he is going to stay or not and you’ll all know on Christmas Day in the UK.”