Downton Abbey to receive first Bafta award at special ceremony

The ITV drama will be celebrated at a Bafta Tribute event featuring backstage interviews with the cast and crew ahead of its final series

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Downton Abbey will win its first ever Bafta TV Award at a special tribute ceremony ahead of the ITV drama’s final series.

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The hit period drama will be celebrated at an event in August, and will receive a Bafta Special Award to mark the show’s global appeal.

Members of the cast and crew will appear in front of a live audience on 11th August, with the event set to be broadcast on ITV later in the year. Backstage interviews will also reveal how Julian Fellowes, Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery and the rest of the cast and crew have been preparing for the sixth and final series.

The executive producer of Downton Abbey Gareth Neame said he was delighted that Bafta would be recognising the show’s success.

“‎As Downton Abbey moves towards its conclusion with the final season this autumn, I speak for the entire cast and crew when I say how honoured we are that the Academy will recognise the show with this Special Award,” he said.

“Not only is Downton a much-loved show in Britain, it has had huge success in both the U.S. and right around the world, waving the flag for Britain and our creative content and that’s why the Bafta recognition means so much to us all.”

Julian Fellowes is likely to be busy in his final year at the head of the show: as well as the Bafta Special Award, he will also be honoured in the US with an International Emmy Founders Award, joining the likes of past winners Steven Spielberg, JJ Abrams and David Attenborough.

ITV’s prime time drama has earned numerous Golden Globes and Emmy Awards in the United States, but has never won a Bafta award since it was first broadcast in 2010.

Bafta’s Chief Executive Amanda Berry said the tribute show will “take us backstage with the cast and crew to reveal what’s made it both a national treasure and a global phenomenon.”

The final series of Downton Abbey is set to be broadcast later this Autumn, but it might not be the end of the show entirely. Cast member Laura Carmichael confirmed that the drama’s creators are in talks about a possible film version.

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This won’t be the only Special Award for creator Julian Fellowes this year: the writer will also receive an International Emmy Founders Award in November, joining the likes of previous winners Steven Spielberg, JJ Abrams and David Attenborough.

Read more: How would the Downton Abbey cast like the series to end?

Why Maggie Smith is glad Downton is ending