There’s a new Earl in Downton, and, to be honest, we wish it wasn’t all a dream.
Yes, George Clooney made his eagerly-awaited Downton Abbey debut on Friday night for ITV’s Text Santa charity appeal.
The sketch was part of ITV’s Friday night Christmas charity appeal, which so far has raised over £5 million, the event’s highest total in its four years.
The skit took us on an It’s A Wonderful Life-style flight of fancy, with the angelic Joanna Lumley showing Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville) what life would be like if he had never been born.
There were some nice touches – Mr Selfridge’s Jeremy Piven butting in from the channel’s other period drama, a cheeky mock-up of the Dowager Countess ski jumping, and creator Julian Fellowes bickering with Lord Grantham over cutlery.
But the star of the show was clearly dearest George, who after introducing himself in Part One went on to beguile the whole household with his scandalous American charm in Part Two.
‘The Most Honourable George Oceans Gravity, Marquis of Hollywood’ (how much would Clooney love that title in real life?) snogged Cora, left the Dowager Countess feeling faint and took a selfie with, well, everyone.
Watch both parts below. You can still donate to the appeal here.
And don’t miss the Downton Abbey Christmas special on Christmas Day at 9pm on ITV