Thanks to my beloved (twin) sister Emma, we are luxuriating in the second series of the flabbergastingly awesome Downton Abbey. The familiar characters are all growing up and moving on, this time completely dragged through the clothing mangler by the tumultuous events of World War I (which has just ended on our viewing schedule.) Most importantly for the Upstairs-Downstairs, social boundaries are collapsing, (hurrah!) and its almost inconceivable that anyone ever thought life would return to pre-war indolence. So what will this mean for Downton?
Well, Series 3, obviously – and the news that Shirley MacLaine is joining the cast as Lady Cora’s brash, Yankee mother (surely the casting coup of the decade?) will only add to the excitement. But interestingly there’s also been a lot of buzz around the location of Downton itself, the lush Highclere House outside Newbury, that was built by the same chap who built the Houses of Parliament. The LA Times again steps forward with a loving behind-the-scenes portrait of the house: 10 Facts About the Show’s Real Castle. You too can visit the house – the ancestral home of the family that discovered King Tut’s tomb – at a cool twelve hundred bucks a visit. You heard me right.