Hugh Bonneville as the Earl of GranthamWe caught up with Downton Abbey creator Lord Julian Fellowes backstage at the National Television Awards to get all the gossip on the upcoming fourth series.

Sadly, he wasn’t giving much away, but he did let slip, ‘There’ll be tough times for Mary,’ following husband Matthew’s shock death in the Christmas episode.

And he also revealed that Shirley MacLaine will hopefully return to Downton. ‘We were absolutely thrilled she was in the show,’ he said. ‘She’s completely unique! But I can’t tell you what’s going to happen. I never know what’s happening in my own life, never mind the show!’

Lord Fellowes continued, ‘Downton has been an extraordinary experience. It’s very weird to be in something that’s hit the button to the extent that this has. We became an adjective quite soon, which I rather liked. People would say, “Oh, it’s very Downton Abbey”!’

To check out all the fabulous frocks from the NTAs, click here: