Downton"s merry Kissmas: There will be plenty of puckering up… and not all of it under the mistletoe


Downton”s merry Kissmas: There will be plenty of puckering up… and not all of it under the mistletoe

Asyou might expect, there’s plenty of puckering up going on in tomorrow night’s Christmas special – and it doesn’t all happen under the mistletoe.

Lady Mary, Anna Bates, the roguish Lord Hepworth (played by Nigel Havers) and the fusty old Earl of Grantham himself are just some of those who find themselves in clinches of one sort or another.

EvenMrs Patmore, Downton’s feisty cook, has a bit of a hot flush when she takes to the floor with Matthew Crawley at the New Year’s Eve servants’ ball, the climax of the show which brings together both upstairs and downstairs for a night of dancing.

More of the same Hugh Bonneville

More of the same Hugh Bonneville”s Earl of Grantham kissed the maid in Downton”s season finale

And it’s given Lesley Nicols, who plays her, a taste for romance.

‘It would be marvellous if Mrs Patmore were to fall in love with a man in the next series,’ she says. ‘I’d be delighted if Julian Fellowes wrote that into a storyline, although she might be aiming a little high with Matthew.

“I think it’s about time after all those years slaving over a hot stove.’

Romanceaside, there are plenty of plot twists to look forward to tomorrow.

Valet Mr Bates (Brendan Coyle) is on trial for murder, there’s an eerie ouija board scene and ruthless Sir Richard Carlisle (Iain Glen) shows his true colours.

Puckering up: A make-up artist puts some finishing touches to Michelle Dockery

Puckering up: A make-up artist puts some finishing touches to Michelle Dockery”s lips before filming starts

... but everyone wants to know if Michelle

… but everyone wants to know if Michelle”s character, Lady Mary Crawley, will kiss Dan Stevens” Matthew Crawley in the Christmas special

Work then begins in February on a new eight-part series, to air in the autumn, and another two-hour Christmas special fornext year.

All good news for the show’s army of fans, which these days includes Joan Rivers and Tom Hanks.

Says Siobhan Finneran, who plays Lady Cora’s maid O’Brien, ‘Joan tweets about the fact she watches the programme, and an actor friend of mine worked with Tom and discovered he was a big fan too. Who’d have thought it’