bafta Celebrates Downton Abbey, a star studded TV event hosted by Jonathan Ross will air this Christmas on ITV.  This one off special is the definitive insight into the world’s most popular drama with unprecedented behind the scenes access from cast and crew.

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Exclusive access on set at Highclere castle and in the studio was granted for the TV special as they filmed their final episodes of the series.

Other highlights include: Julian Fellowes talks on stage about the shows creation and its many secrets; Hugh Bonneville and Dame Maggie Smith will take part in a specially written sketch on stage; Dame Kiri Te Kanawa performs ‘O Mio Babbino Caro’; Julian Ovenden performs ‘My Heart Stood Still’; What Downton Abbey means to me – talking heads from stage and screen and royalty will talk about the show and what it means to them; and Dame Julie Walters presenting the bafta Special Award to Julian Fellowes and the entire Downton Abbey cast, as part of a tribute that celebrates the outstanding global success of the programme.

Peter Fincham, ITV’s Director of Television said: “When we commissioned Downton Abbey six years ago, little did we know it would go on to become the phenomenon it is today, not only loved by our itv viewers, but also countless others around the world.  I am delighted for everyone at Carnival films and the entire team involved in the production, that they have been honoured by bafta with this tribute and Special award.”

Amanda Berry, OBE, Chief Executive of BAFTA, said: “I am delighted that bafta has paid tribute to Downton Abbey, an extraordinary series that has flown the flag for British drama since 2010.  Our tribute will take us backstage with the cast and crew to reveal what’s made it both a national treasure and global phenomenon.”

Gareth Neame, Executive Producer of Downton Abbey and Managing Director of Carnival Films said: “As Downton Abbey moves towards its conclusion with the final series, I speak for the entire cast and crew when I say how honoured we are that the Academy has recognised the show with this Special award.  Not only is Downton a much loved show in Britain, it has huge success in both the US and right around the world, waving the flag for Britain and our creative content and that’s why bafta recognition means so much to us.”

BAFTA Celebrates Downton Abbey has been commissioned for itv by Elaine Bedell, ITV’s Director of Comedy & Entertainment.  Lee Connelly and Sally Wood are the Executive Producers for itv Studios and Clare Brown is the Executive Producer for BAFTA.

Tonight at 21:00 UK / 22:00 Spanish Time. ITV1

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