Downton Abbey's Mr Carson hints at tearjerking finale on Christmas Day


Downton Abbey's Jim Carter promised fans that the Christmas Day finale was "emotional in the right way" but warned it would leave them in tears.

Speaking as he walked the red carpet at the inaugural ITV Gala, the actor, who plays butler Mr Carson in the long-running drama, said that fans did not need to worry about a shocking death like Matthew Crawley's in series three.

He said: "There's no great explosion and the place goes up in flames, we wouldn't do that on Christmas night.

"I think it's emotional in the right way, not the cousin Matthew dying in a car crash way," he said referencing the 2012 Christmas Day special that saw Dan Stevens's character leave the show.

"It is a fitting ending. There will be tears of course, it's Downton Abbey," he added.

Creator Julian Fellowes was also at the event and said that he was certain ending Downton was the right decision.

"I don't think we made a mistake. There are moments when we feel quite sorry but I don't think we've made a mistake," he said.

Fellowes can console himself with his new show, a three-part adaptation of Anthony Trollope's Doctor Thorne, starring Tom Hollander and Prince Harry's ex-girlfriend Cressida Bonas.

"Cressida's charming, she's lovely and very sweet in the show. I've seen the first episode, I'm really pleased," he said.

The gala saw ITV's biggest stars including Simon Cowell, Davina McCall, Amanda Holden and new Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan walk the red carpet.

Talent from shows including The Only Way Is Essex, Emmerdale and Loose Women met at the London Palladium to entertain the channel's commercial customers and announce upcoming shows, including a return of favourite Cold Feet.

This Morning's Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby also took to the carpet and discussed Schofield's recent advert for Text Santa's Christmas Jumper Day that appeared to see him display his bare buttocks on TV.

"There are some things that amongst friends are better left saved. The viewers got the back but Holly would have got the front view and we have to work together every day," he joked, explaining why he chose a body double.

The Text Santa campaign will see Schofield spend a whole day appearing throughout the ITV schedule on December 1, popping up in shows from Emmerdale to The Chase.

Asked his favourite cameo, he replied, "I never thought I would appear on Jeremy Kyle."

But Willoughby was quick to quip: "I did, I always knew the day was coming."