After five years of tumultuous, shocking and heartening storylines, ITV’s popular Sunday night hit, Downton Abbey, is coming to an end.
This Sunday sees the start of the sixth, and sadly final, series of the period drama. This means an emotional farewell to much-loved characters including the rigid but kind-hearted Carson, the stylish and dry-humoured Lady Mary and the witty and hilarious Dowager Countess.
The drama, which has captivated so many, has seen humour and indeed tragedy; perhaps none more so than the death of Crawley-canine Isis, and as all great things must, Downton Abbey is coming to an end.
There are so many questions left to be answered in what promises to be a terrific final series and Christmas special; what will happen with Mr and Mrs Bates? Will it all end happily-ever-after for Mr Carson and Mrs Hughes? Will Tom leave for America?
As well as being huge fans of the show, JDRF is thankful for the great effort shown by many of the stars of Downton Abbey and indeed the creator, Lord Fellowes, in raising the profile of type 1 diabetes and research into a cure.
Hugh Bonneville, who plays the Crawley family patriarch, Robert Crawley, has given his support to JDRF, saying:
“It’s really important to get people talking about and understanding type 1 diabetes. That’s why JDRF needs the support of people like you and me, so they can continue to carry out vital research.”
Fellow stars Brendan Coyle and Joanne Froggatt, who portray the ever-suffering Mr and Mrs Bates have also given great support to JDRF, adding:
“We believe that everyone, including people living with type 1 diabetes, deserves to get the most out of life. JDRF is a wonderful charity doing great things for people affected by the condition.”
Actor Jim Carter, who has been terrific as loyal butler, Carson, very kindly hosted a live auction at a Downton Abbey charity dinner for JDRF.
Writer and creator of the show, Lord Fellowes, and his wife, Lady Fellowes, are tireless and devoted supporters of JDRF. In 2014 he attended a JDRF fundraising evening at Highclere Castle, Hampshire (where Downton Abbey is filmed) and this year the couple joined stars such as Boy George and Sir Ben Ainslie at the Art Antiques London Party in the Park event which raised an amazing £470,000 for JDRF.
Some viewers may also be interested to know that the character Atticus Aldridge, the love interest of Lady Rose, was named at an auction in aid of JDRF. Lord Fellowes very kindly agreed to have this character named after the winner of the auction, allowing one viewer the honour of featuring (if only in name!) in the show and raising vital funds for JDRF and type 1 diabetes research.
Although we at JDRF are sad to see the end of Downton Abbey we’d like to thank all the stars, the creator, Lord Fellowes, and everyone who attended the auctions and events in aid of JDRF for helping us move closer to the cure for type 1 diabetes.