The cast of Downton Abbey are clamouring for Julian Fellowes to pen more episodes of the hit period drama.

The second series of Downton, with Hugh Bonneville and Dame Maggie Smith among the returning cast, is hitting the small screen following the huge success of the first instalment last year.

Michelle Dockery, who plays Lady Mary Crawley in the ITV1 drama, said: “I think there’s potential for a third series and I would certainly go with it.

“I’d like to see Mary in the Roaring Twenties and where it will take her.”

Dan Stevens, whose character Matthew Crawley is set to inherit Downton, added: “We could see Downton Abbey in the Seventies! Matthew in his old age and bell-bottoms!

“I’d like it to go on for however long Julian can keep coming up with the stories.”

The first series was sold to more than 100 countries, sparked numerous fan clubs and Facebook pages, and even launched ‘Manton Abbey’ – a group of men who weren’t afraid to admit that watching Downton was their guilty pleasure.

The new eight-episode series takes on a more serious tone with the residents of the Downton estate dealing with the outbreak of the First World War.

*Downton Abbey begins on ITV1 on Sunday, September 18.