ITV have announced that the sixth series of the hugely successful period drama, created by Julian Fellowes, will be the last.
Julian said: "The Downton journey has been amazing for everyone aboard. People ask if we knew what was going to happen when we started to make the first series and the answer is that, of course we had no idea.
"Exactly why the series had such an impact and reached so many people around the world, all nationalities, all ages, all types, I cannot begin to explain. But I do know how grateful we are to have been allowed this unique experience. I suspect the show will always be a principal marker in most of our careers as we set out from here, and if so, I consider that a blessing and a compliment."
Downton Abbey began in 2010 and is broadcast in 250 territories worldwide. It's been a smash hit in the ratings, with an average of 11 million viewers in the UK over the five series so far.
It's the highest rated UK drama series of the past decade.
"Inevitably there comes a time when all shows should end and Downton is no exception," said Gareth Neame, the exec producer.
"We wanted to close the doors of Downton Abbey when it felt right and natural for the storylines to come together and when the show was still being enjoyed so much by its fans. We can promise a final season full of all the usual drama and intrigue, but with the added excitement of discovering how and where they all end up..."
Filming is currently underway for the sixth series with Kate Middleton recently visiting Ealing Studios in London to watch a scene being filmed.
Downton will conclude on Christmas Day this year.
"We all thought very carefully about the right moment to bring something so special to a close that felt editorially right, and left viewers wanting more," said Peter Fincham, ITV's Director of TV.
"Christmas Day on ITV this year will certainly be one to remember, as the concluding special brings a series to an end that started as a leap of faith for all of us, and ended surpassing all expectations."
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