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

The Weekend's TV: Downton Abbey, Sun, ITV1<br/>The First World War from Above, Sun, BBC1

The Downton decree: do mention the war

Leading article: Withdrawal symptoms

There's nothing Downton Abbey proved all over again, like a period drama to keep British audiences curled up and cosy in front of their televisions of a weekend night, especially if it is a saga shot through with class. At heart, we are still gluttons for daily life misremembered above and below stairs. By the final episode, last night, 11 million people were in thrall to the doings of Lord Grantham and the rest, making it the most-watched television costume saga since Brideshead Revisited acquainted us with Sebastian Flyte and his bear. It is worth noting, in passing, that the BBC does not have a monopoly on the genre.

Hollywood beckons for stars of Downton Abbey

As the first series draws to a close, ITV's hit drama is set for a Stateside transfer

Victoria Summerley: Downton Abbey offers simplicity in a complicated world

My 16-year-old daughter and I high-fived when Matthew Crawley, the reluctant heir to Downton Abbey, proposed to Lady Mary, the spoilt eldest daughter of the Earl.

Sarah Sands: 'Downton Abbey' is sloppy tosh. That's why we love it

What a terrible weekend for the BBC. Not only did strike action take from us the Today programme, Front Row and other middle-class pleasures, but it's been beaten in the field it used to call its own. The most perfect middlebrow drama this year concludes tonight – on ITV.

<i>IoS</i> letters, emails & online postings (7 November 2010)

The US copes with having several different time zones, with up to five hours' difference from east to west coasts, so I think Britain can manage being one hour behind central Europe ("We don't want another hour of darkness", 31 October). It will be dark when I get up under GMT in November, just as it was under BST in October. This is in the English Midlands, not the north of Scotland. The extra hour of morning light will, however, allow me to travel to work in the light for a few more weeks, unlike in October. Either way, it would still be dark on the journey home.

Julian Fellowes: Lord and master of Downton Abbey

His Tory politics haven't always gone down well with the arts establishment. But as his latest drama reaches its finale, and with his friends running the country, Britain's proudest snob is having the last laugh

Fellowes denies plagiarism in 'Downton Abbey'

Viewers point out striking similarities between hit ITV drama and other books and films

Downton Abbey: 'Sorry ma'am, the butler's out snowboarding!'

Continuity errors, anachronisms, gaffes, and plain clangers can't halt the rise of period drama

Last Night's TV: Wonderland - High Society Brides/BBC2<br/>A History of the World/BBC4

Judging from the title alone it looked as if High Society Brides was going to be the month's least tactful bit of scheduling. During the day we'd learned that the entire nation was about to go on a bread-and-dripping diet and in the evening it seemed we would be able to cheer ourselves up by watching the upper crust uniting their inherited wealth in the holy bond of matrimony. And, judging from the opening five minutes, it looked as if judging from the title hadn't been entirely misleading. Various women with cut-glass accents recalled when they first met their husband ("Shooting... grouse moor in Yorkshire") or exchanged emollient truisms about wealth. "Money can be a lubricant I think, can't it?" said one musingly. "Mmmm... yes... opens doors," replied another. Oh dear, I'm not going to be able to take a lot of this, I thought. Not when so many people are going to be finding the lubricant in short supply.

Domestic service &ndash; what's changed in 100 years?

As 'Downton Abbey' proves a TV hit, Jonathan Brown finds out what life is like for staff below stairs in the 21st century

Downton Abbey, ITV1, Sunday<br/>Harry &amp; Paul, BBC2, Tuesday<br/>Trinny &amp; Susannah: From Boom to Bust, Channel 4, Thursday

Maggie is marvellous but, lawks a lordy, this period-lite drama shows that where there's a will there isn't always a plot

Culture Club: Eat Pray Love (PG)

Readers review this week's film

Brian Viner: Oh, for the days of parlourmaids

The enduring British fascination with life above and below stairs gets another stoking from Sunday, with ITV's transmission of Downton Abbey, a seven-part drama set in a grand country house just before the First World War and naturally starring, in the regrettable absence of Dame Judi, Dame Maggie Smith.

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