Downton Abbey fans can breathe a sigh of relief after it was confirmed that the show will return for a fifth series next year.
The news was revealed as the fourth series of the show came to an end on ITV on Sunday night.
“We are enormously happy to have Downton Abbey on ITV and we are delighted to be announcing this new series,” said ITV’s director of drama commissioning Steve November.
“‘With Julian writing and Gareth and Liz producing we know it will be as warm, witty, romantic and dramatic as previous series and we can’t wait to catch up with our favourite characters again.’
Series producer Gareth Neame added: “We promise all the usual highs and lows, romance, drama and comedy played out by some of the most iconic characters on television.
All the actors and makers of the show continue to be humbled by the extraordinary audience response and want to take the show from strength to strength next year.’
Sunday’s Downton left several questions unanswered – most notably that of a potential new husband for Lady Mary, as she ended the show seemingly unable to deide between Lord Gillingham (Tom Cullen), or Charles Blake (Julian Ovenden)
However there was also an unexpected twist as villainous valet Green (Nigel Harman) – who was behind Anna’s controversial rape earlier in the series – was killed.
The character met his maker offscreen, reportedly stepping into the path of a car in what was described as a tragic accident.
However subsequent scenes have hinted that Bates might in fact have been responsible for his demise in the wake of Anna’s assault.
Downton Abbey will return on Christmas Day for this year’s festive edition.