Joanne Froggatt talks to Soaplife about reaching the end of an era with award-winning ITV period drama Downton Abbey…

How do you feel about this being the final series of Downton?

“I have mixed emotions. I’m sad because obviously I’m going to miss everyone. It’s a cliche, but we have become like a big family because we’ve shared six years of our lives – workwise and personally. I’ve had the time of my life playing Anna. I think she’s definitely evolved as a woman – from being this lovely, kind-hearted girl next door, to falling in love with Mr Bates, and all the trials and tribulations they’ve been through… 

“At the same, time, though, I’m really excited to be moving on. In my next job, I’m playing Mary-Ann Cotton, who lived in the 1870s and was Britain’s first known serial killer, in an ITV production called Dark Angel.”

Which of your Downton colleagues do you miss the most?

“Probably my ‘threebies’ – Michelle Dockery, who plays Lady Mary, Brendan Coyle, who plays Mr Bates, and Phyllis Logan, who plays Mrs Hughes. It’s these three actors I’ve worked with the most and they’re awesome. They make it look so easy. It will feel really odd next February, the month we always started shooting the next series of Downton.”

Was there a particular moment when you realised that Downton Abbey had become such a phenomenal success?

“Probably when we started winning awards and we got to do all these lovely things around the world on the back of the show. I’m at a time in my life where that’s all rather lovely. I’ve been working for long enough to be able to enjoy it rather than be scared by it. I’ve loved every minute of it and feel very proud to have been a part of it.”

If we looked up Anna and Mr Bates in 10 years, what do you think they’d be doing?

“Maybe they’ll have children and be running the little guest house they’ve always wanted. They could call it ‘The Bates Hotel’!

Downton Abbey, ITV