Downton's back for another series
The cast of hit ITV1 costume drama Downton Abbey are all set to roar into the 1920s after television bosses commissioned a third series.
It will be written by show creator Julian Fellowes and will follow the Crawley family and their servants into the post-war world of 1920 and 1921 England.
Fellowes said: "I am extremely grateful to ITV for this. I have grown very fond of my Downton family and I certainly do not want to say goodbye to them quite yet."
The current series, which has seen the characters come to terms with the First World War and the Spanish flu pandemic of 1919, has had a more critical reception than the first series with the complicated plot and number of adverts all coming under fire.
But even more viewers have tuned in, with an average audience of 11.5 million watching the first six episodes of this series.
Stars including Dame Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Michelle Dockery, Jim Carter, Joanne Froggatt and Brendan Coyle will all appear in the new series.
ITV's director of drama commissioning Laura Mackie said: "We're absolutely delighted to be bringing Downton Abbey back for a third series, as we follow the inhabitants of Downton as they move into the Roaring Twenties.
"It's rare to find a drama that the audience connects with so strongly and we're extremely proud to have commissioned a series that has become such a phenomenon."