Downton Abbey Christmas special 2014: Plot details revealed for two hour episode

Atticus' father takes the Granthams away on a shooting holiday - but the real drama happens below stairs back at Downton Abbey

The cast of Downton Abbey in the 2014 Christmas special
The cast of Downton Abbey in the 2014 Christmas special

Downton Abbey will return this Christmas for a two hour special as the Granthams visit Atticus’ family for a spot of Grouse shooting.

ITV has revealed plot details for this year’s Christmas episode, which will see the Granthams join Lord Sinderby, Rose’s new father-in-law, in Brancaster Castle in Northumberland for a shooting party.

New Tricks actor Alun Armstrong will join the cast as the Sinderby’s butler Stowell, who harbors a secret that threatens to undermine the group's holiday.

Back below stairs at Downton Abbey, Bates takes drastic measures in a bid to clear Anna’s name as she faces an uncertain future behind bars. Baxter and Molesley scheme together on a joint plan, while Carson and Mrs Hughes consider a business venture.

Lady Mary decorates the Christmas tree with her son George

James Faulkner and Pennie Downie will return as Lord and Lady Sinderby, along with Matt Barber who plays Atticus Aldridge.

Jane Lapotaire also joins the Christmas special as Princess Irina, the wife of Prince Kuragin, much to the Dowager Countess’ dismay.

The episode will feature the usual Downton Abbey cast members including Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Elizabeth McGovern, Jim Carter, Penelope Wilton, Phyllis Logan, Laura Carmichael, Lily James, Allen Leech, Brendan Coyle and Joanne Froggatt.

Details about when the special will be broadcast have yet to be announced.

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