With the long-awaited Downton Abbey movie hitting the big screen this Friday, fans of the lavish period drama will finally have a chance to catch up with the colourful upstairs-downstairs lives of its well-loved characters.
And North East audience-goers also will have the added enjoyment of location-spotting as the new film, which goes on general release at cinemas nationwide ahead of the weekend, was part-filmed in the region.
The award-winning TV series which inspired the film and first introduced viewers to the Crawley family and their below-stairs staff also made use of the region, with cast and crew shooting Christmas specials scenes in the North East at the likes of Alnwick Castle and Beamish Museum.
The latter had a starring role in the last-ever episode of the drama which aired over the 2015 festive season.
And the focus was back at Beamish in County Durham during the making of the movie too, with the main street of the open air museum attracting more than 100 cast and crew last October, when nearby Beamish Hall Hotel also acted as a base.
And during the shoots the film-makers made use of some of the museum’s staff and period vehicles.
Rhiannon Hiles, deputy director of Beamish, said: “We were thrilled to welcome Downton Abbey’s cast and crew to Beamish Museum for filming for the new movie.
“Our wonderful open-air museum brings history to life so it was great to be included as a location for the new film and it was exciting to have some of our staff and period vehicles involved.”
Beamish Hall Hotel is also delighted to have played a role in the film-making and to celebrate the movie’s release on Friday it is launching a week-long competition to win an ‘Ultimate Downton Abbey Experience’ which includes a hotel stay and two ‘golden queue pass tickets’ to see the film.
Entry will open on September 13 so keep an eye out here . It also hosts a Downton Experience Package.
The film, has a screenplay written by series creator Julian Fellowes, reassembles all the main cast and its storyline sees the Crawley family meet royalty, as Queen Mary and George V come to visit.
Its UK debut is set to be followed by a release in North America – where Downton Abbey has many fans – on September 20.