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It seems that Laura Carmichael, who plays Lady Edith Crawley, has recently had a broken wrist but thankfully, her time in a cast has only been short so all should be well for the end of filming. Get well soon, Laura!
Oops, sorry! It might have helped if I had actually NAMED the actors but my internet was misbehaving and I told myself I would do it later.
Ok, the excellent Nigel Havers will play an aristocrat by the name of Lord Hepworth who will be at Downton over the Christmas/New Year period. Sharon small from 'The Inspector Lynley Mysteries' will also join the cast as a maid to the visiting Lady Rosamund Painswick. (Samantha Bond.) Creator and writer, Julian Fellowes, says there may be more to come yet but if so, he will reveal more as the air date approaches. Sounds like fun!
Julian Fellowes, Gareth Neame and Liz Trubridge have all hinted strongly that there will be a third series of 'Downton Abbey' which will take the Crawley family into the 1920s. Gareth Neame (Executive Producer) has stated in many interviews that with Fellowes' writing style, the series could definitely continue for three of four series, maybe more but Julian Fellowes himself, while hinting strongly that a third series is extremely likely, says that if it happens, the show would end after that. Amy Nuttall who plays Ethel Parks in series 2 has also hinted that there will be a third series by stating that 'my character will not be seen in the third series.'. Fellowes says the final decision has yet to be made so I suppose we will all just have to wait and see.
Some American television entertainment programs are reporting that Julian Fellowes has announced that there will be two more seasons of 'Downton Abbey' after the upcoming one but I cannot find any official sources to confirm or deny it. I will keep you posted.
What IS certain, as it came straight from the production company itself, is that Dan Stevens, Siobahn Finneran and Jessica Brown Findlay have yet to sign their contracts as they are holding out for more money. My personal feeling is that Dan Stevens (Matthew Crawley) will be back, as filming has already finished for season 3 and I can't find any source to say that he won't be in this or any subsequent series but the contract issues are certainly real enough.
Like I said, I'll keep you posted and let you know when I have some official news.
Good luck to Dame Maggie Smith, Michelle Dockery, Hugh Bonneville, Joanne Froggatt, Brendan Coyle and, of course, the excellent Julian Fellowes at this year's Emmy Awards. Good luck for the show as well! Here's hoping for some wins.