Arts and Entertainment Downton Abbey may be on our screens until 2020

The show's producer has said there are 'no plans' to end the period drama

Between The Sheets: What’s really going on in the world of books

Books about royalty were a highlight of 2013, with the birth of Prince George (right) unleashing a right royal deluge of biographies of the young family, picture books of the young family, children’s books with cute cartoon versions the young family ... our favourite was by Nicholas Allan (practically a royal biographer since the huge success of his searingly insightful portrait The Queen’s Knickers in 1998): The Royal Nappy shows regal diapers since Henry VIII’s which, oddly, don’t get a mention in the year’s favourite history genre – the biographies of characters from Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall books. And still they come: Robert Hutchinson’s Thomas Cromwell and Susan Bordo’s The Creation of Anne Boleyn are out in the new year.

Dowton Abbey star Jim Carter slams “old Etonians” running the country

Dowton Abbey star Jim Carter slams 'old Etonians' running the country

Dowton Abbey star Jim Carter has hit out at the “old Etonians” he says are still running the country.

Lady Rose dances with the Prince of Wales in the Downton Abbey Christmas special 2013

Downton Abbey Christmas special 2013: New pictures released

Rose is presented to the King while Edith struggles with her moral dilemma

The cast of Downton Abbey will be back for a two hour Christmas special

Downton Abbey Christmas special trailer released

Lady Grantham and Cora's mother exchange cold words this Christmas

Joanna Froggatt as Anna Bates, who was raped by a visiting valet in Downton Abbey

Viewers complain following Downton Abbey rape scene

A spokesman for the drama said the events in the episode were 'acted and directed with great sensitivity'

Indyplus video: British TV exports

Homegrown programmes enjoy sales boom as audiences in China and East Europe tune into Downtown Abbey. Other successful British exports include Broadchurch, Parade's End, Undercover Boss and Midsomer Murders.

Watch clips for some of these below:

Lord Gillingham with Lady Mary in Downton Abbey episode three, series four

Downton Abbey series four episode three teaser

Potential suitor for Lady Mary arrives in the shape of Lord Gillingham

Posh parents: Downton Abbey’s Lady Mary with baby George, and Tom Branson with Sybbie

Downton gets lessons in how to eat a banana

It is one thing when a TV crew lets the odd anachronism creep in. But when a real countess can't get things right, well, it's enough to make Violet Crawley choke on the hors d'oeuvres.

Downton Abbey, series four: Lady Mary and her late sister Sybil's husband Tom with their respective children.

Downton Abbey series four broadcast date confirmed

The popular period drama returns Sunday 22 September

The Business Matrix: Saturday 17 August 2013

Maersk doubles shipping profits

ITV gives its dividend the X factor

ITV shares today soared 5 per cent to a record high as chief executive Adam Crozier hiked the dividend almost 40 per cent and reported that advertisers are feeling “more confidence and positivity” about the UK economy.

The Authors XI take on a Wisden XI at Vincent Square in London

Rajan's Wrong Un': How I and the finest bunch of amateur rascals brought a joyous sport to book

No sport lends itself to the prose stylist and the lyrical poet quite like cricket

Broadchurch to The Politician's Husband: Tennant's extra... we just can't get enough

He proves his versatility, moving from shabby murder squad detective to ambitious, well-groomed government minister

Alan Ball: True Blood's loss is Banshee's gain

When Alan Ball quit vampire drama True Blood at the end of its fifth season, he knew he was taking a risk. Few US show creators choose their exits – indeed The Walking Dead appears to sack one a season – and to leave, as Ball did, for an as-yet-untested show is the biggest risk of all.

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Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'