Downton Abbey: The cast and crew reveal the secrets of filming Downton

DOWNTON ABBEY SPECIAL: The cast and crew reveal the secrets of filming Downton

10:07 PM on 9th September 2011

Muffled up against the cold in their parkas - and protective hairnets - Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary) and Laura Carmichael (Lady Edith) take a refreshment break between takes

LADIES IN WAITING: Muffled up against the cold in their parkas – and protective hairnets – Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary) and Laura Carmichael (Lady Edith) take a refreshment break between takes

A dining scene may last only a few minutes, but it can take between 10 and 12 hours to film

MAKING A MEAL OF DINNER TIME: A dining scene may last only a few minutes, but it can take between 10 and 12 hours to film. This is because the director needs to shoot each actor in turn, and that can mean three or four takes per person. Dan Stevens, who plays Matthew Crawley, says he quickly learned not to eat during these scenes. “If you decide you”re going to eat, say, five mouthfuls of chicken, then by the end of the day you”ve had about 70 and it”s cold and congealed”

Even servants need a touch of make-up

Even servants need a touch of make-up

Allen Leech, who plays chauffeur Tom Branson, says the 1920 Renault he has to drive is a nightmare

LOOK AT HIM GO! Allen Leech, who plays chauffeur Tom Branson, says the 1920 Renault he has to drive is a nightmare. “The owner drives it first, then I get in and the gears start clunking. Once a huge piece of metal fell off. It”s a hand-crank start and you have to be careful because once it starts spinning you can lose your thumb”

PERFECT SETTINGS
Highclere, Berkshire Ealing Studios, West London

Highclere in Berkshire (left) and Ealing Studios in West London (right)

The drama in the trenches was filmed at location in Ackenham, near Ipswich Bampton, Oxfordshire

Ackenham in Suffolk (left) and Bampton in Oxfordshire (right)