Christmas at Downton

Since Downton Abbey's fourth season finale weeks ago, our Sunday evenings just haven't been the same. However, the great news is that once again Downton returns for its Christmas special! Hurrah! And we've got some of the pictures from the upcoming episode, which includes a trip to Buckingham Palace.

Set six months after the end of season four, the plot will revolve around a Royal family scandal after the family take a trip to the Palace to present Lady Rose for her "coming out", and Robert will be forced to act to protect both the Royal family and his own.

Also involved in this year's special episode will be the brilliant Shirley MacLaine, who plays Cora's mother Martha Levinson (we're hoping for more sparring between her and the Dowager).

Cora's brother, Harold, will appear for the first time played by Paul Giamatti, and James Fox as Lord Aysgarth, Guy Williams as King George V and Oliver Dimsdale as the Prince of Wales will also feature.

Fans of Lady Mary's love triangle will get to see actors Tom Cullen and Julian Ovenden reprise their roles as Lord Gillingham and Charles Blake respectively.

Downton Abbey Christmas special will air at 8.30pm on Christmas Day