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Downton Abbey: Five reveals from the trailer

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We’ll see the return of many familiar faces

Downton Abbey fans, the wait is over… the trailer for the film version of the hugely popular TV series has arrived.

The show’s creator Julian Fellowes has written the film’s screenplay, and he is also the co-producer.

The period ITV drama ended in 2015 after six series and the film version is released this autumn.

Two trailers for the movie were simultaneously released on Tuesday. So what did we learn?

What lies in store for the Crawley family and their servants below the stairs?

Here are our top five finds.


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Universal Pictures

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The roaring 20s are still in full swing

1. The King and Queen are coming to stay

If you thought the Crawleys were posh, even they’re going to have to up the ante and pull out all the stops – and best china – when a letter arrives announcing an impending visit from George V and Queen Mary no less.

That’s two Marys who will be battling for supremacy in the Downton house. We’re hoping for fireworks.

2. Dame Maggie Smith still has the best lines

Ah, the Dowager Countess, how we have missed thee.

Dame Maggie Smith is acting royalty and she’s as sharp as ever here, dishing out plenty of her famous acerbic wit and pithy repartee.

“I never argue, I explain,” she sternly tells her son, the Earl of Grantham, in one scene.

And when told by granddaughter Edith that she could just remove her hat rather than change her entire outfit if she stays for a buffet (sausage roll anyone?), the Dowager looks at her incredulously and replies: “You talk as if that were easy!”

3. Romance is in the air

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Universal Pictures

It’s now 1927 and it appears that Lady Mary’s marriage to Henry Talbot (Matthew Goode) is still going strong – he’s certainly keen, dashing up the stairs full pelt to steal a kiss in one trailer scene.

Clearly not been married that long.

And they’re not the only couple feeling the love – a new romance appears to be blossoming between widow Tom Branson and Lady Bagshaw’s maid, Lucy, played by newcomer Tuppence Middleton (who you may remember from the BBC’s adaptation of War and Peace).

And there’s also a quick glimpse of a kiss between Thomas (Rob James-Collier) and a mystery man, possibly one of the Royal family’s staff?

4. Real-life couple

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Universal Pictures

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Imelda Staunton (left) has joined the cast

Imelda Staunton is another new face – the actress has swapped Hogwarts for Highclere Castle – and will appear alongside real-life husband and Downton veteran, Jim Carter.

Ooh, what will housekeeper and on-screen wife Mrs Carson – formerly the formidable Mrs Hughes – think?

5. There’s trouble at mill (or at least under the stairs)

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Universal Pictures

It looks as though the Royal family’s entourage is ruffling a few feathers when they arrive at the stately home – and it appears the Downton staff aren’t going to stand for it.

“This is treason!” Carter shouts as they plot the downfall of their rivals, who clearly think they are superior beings.

Well, if they’re brave enough to take on the sneaky underhand tactics of one Thomas Barrow and the wrath of chief cook and bottle-washer Mrs Pattmore (Lesley Nicol) with a rolling pin, who are we to stop them?

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The film is being released in September

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Coronavirus: The Archers to reflect global outbreak in May

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The Archers

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The Radio 4 soap centres on life in rural England

The BBC has revealed that its long-running BBC Radio 4 soap The Archers will have its first coronavirus-related storyline in early May.

Recording is typically done weeks in advance of broadcast, meaning writers have so far been unable to reflect the rapidly evolving pandemic on the show.

Producers said they wanted listeners to be able “to go to Ambridge in the usual way for as long as possible” .

Episodes from 4 May will reflect the coronavirus outbreak in Ambridge.

Producers said the soap will feature fewer interacting characters “sharing more of their private thoughts with the listener” – a reflection of the social distancing taking place across the UK.

Tough measures to tackle the spread of coronavirus across the UK, including a ban on public gatherings of more than two people and the closure of shops selling non-essential goods, were introduced last week.

The number of people who have died with the virus in the UK has reached 1,228 – an increase of 209 since Saturday.

Temporary changes to The Archers will see the show cut back to four episodes a week and a shorter weekend omnibus.

Voice actors will record the forthcoming episodes from their homes, rather than busy studios, in order to protect the numerous cast and crew.

Jeremy Howe, editor of The Archers – which has been running for 70 years – said the production team had “worked tirelessly” to keep the show on air and reflect the current global crisis.

He added: “Whilst coronavirus might be coming to Borsetshire, listeners can still expect The Archers to be an escape, and the residents to be bickering and as playful and witty as ever.

“The Archers will sound different and will be simpler, but I think keeping the show running and giving us all an opportunity to hear from beloved characters will be a treat loyal listeners will want and need.”



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Coronavirus: YouTube stars urge fans to stay at home

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A montage of YouTube stars

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KSI, DanTDM, Anastacia Kingsnorth and Caspar Lee appear in the video

More than 100 YouTube stars have recorded a video message urging their fans to “stay home” during the coronavirus outbreak.

The video is introduced by entertainer JJ Olatunji, known online as KSI, who has more than 21 million subscribers on the video clip platform.

“We’re here looking to spread awareness on the UK government’s current advice to stay at home,” he says.

The 20-minute video will be posted on YouTube at 16:00 BST.

As well as YouTube stars, footballer Rio Ferdinand, singer Jess Glynne, and Love Island narrator Iain Stirling are among well-known faces to appear.

The idea for the montage came from the Sidemen, a group of British video-makers, which KSI is part of.

Their joint channel has 7.6 million subscribers on YouTube.

The group says any advertising revenue earned from the video will be “donated to the NHS”.



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‘Memes should be archived in a museum’

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Internet memes are being widely circulated as people around the world are staying indoors.

Memes, a type of media that spreads and goes viral online, are often amusing but could they have broader cultural significance?

Should an image of a woman shouting at a cat or a hefty sheep be archived in a museum? Arran Rees from the University of Leeds thinks so.

Produced and edited: Ian Casey

Camera: James Wignall



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