Downton Abbey series four broadcast date confirmed

The popular period drama returns Sunday 22 September

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The Independent Culture

The nation’s favourite period drama is to return to our screens very soon.

ITV has announced the first episode of the fourth series of Downton Abbey will go out on Sunday 22 September.

The premiere will be an hour and a half special, broadcast between 9pm and 10.30pm.

The series four trailer released a fortnight ago promises a lot of high drama, including a possible new suitor for Lady Mary following the death of her husband Matthew Crawley.

Racy cousin Lady Rose MacClare looks set to take a starring role, and is seen introducing Jack to the kitchen staff in the trailer.

Lady Mary and Tom Branson (Lady Sybil’s widower) can be seen left holding the babies, and there is the suggestion of a love interest for him too.

The new series will welcome fresh faces to Downton, including jazz musician Jack, played by EastEnders’ Gary Carr, and New Zealand opera singer Dame Kiri Te Kanawa.

The new cast members join other more familiar faces, including Lord and Lady Crawley, played by Hugh Bonneville and Elizabeth McGovern, as well as Dame Maggie Smith.

Downton Abbey returns to ITV1 on Sunday 22 September at 9pm

Michelle Dockery in the Downton Abbey series four trailer