Downton’s Matthew Crawley and Lady Sybil were almost killed TOGETHER in a car crash

That wouldn't have just ruined Christmas, it would have ruined 2013...

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Downton Abbey fans are preparing for an epic Christmas Day. It’s the final ever episode of the hit drama and we’re excited, if a little apprehensive. Because we all remember the last “unforgettable” festive episode, and we are still a tad traumatised. 

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We’re talking, of course, about Matthew Crawley’s Christmastime demise, something that, thankfully, creator Julian Fellowes still feels bad about. 

“Golly, that was a moment, I can tell you. Some of the letters I received…” Fellowes told RadioTimes.com. “I did feel very guilty as everyone sat down to that one extra mince pie and suddenly, ‘WHAT?’ But I paid.” 

And it turns out it could have actually been a whole lot worse. 

“It was tough really because Jessica [Brown Findlay] had said she was going to leave right from the beginning. She said, ‘I’m doing three years, then I’m leaving.’ So that was all worked out,” Fellowes tells us. “But Dan [Stevens] only decided to leave when we were about to start filming, already written five episodes and cast them. I couldn’t do more funerals, more memorials.”

“If he’d decided right at the beginning, I probably would have killed them together in a car crash.” 

Can you imagine? That wouldn’t have just spoiled 25th December, it would have ruined the whole of 2013…

When we probed Fellowes on what we can expect from this year’s Christmas special, he was evasive. “The final series is about resolving the show in a way that I hope is emotionally satisfying – and that’s all you’re going to get,” he laughed. 

He admits to feeling “slightly sad [and] strange” about the end of the drama – well, we say end… 

“Now they are talking about a film and a musical and a ballet and an opera and a cartoon, for all I know. So who knows when it is the end?”

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Downton Abbey series 6 is available on Blu-ray and DVD from 16th November