‘Downton’ prequel may feature younger Dowager

Downton Abbey fans upset that the show is bowing out will be pleased to hear that the Dowager Countess may again appear on screen.

Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham, played by Maggie Smith in the hit period drama, might return in a show by Downton’s creator Julian Fellowes.

The Gilded Age is believed to be a drama focussing on New York high society families in the late 19th century — so it would be a younger Violet if she were to feature.

Fellowes said: “Robert Grantham would be in his early teens, Cora would be a child. A young Violet could make an appearance.”

Downton will end when the next series finishes although show bosses admitted they are ”contemplating” a film version of the ITV hit.

The show, which attracts an audience of millions of viewers in hundreds of countries, has also been a critical hit winning Golden Globes, Emmys and Bafta awards since its debut in 2010.

Last month, Fellowes said: ”The Downton journey has been amazing for everyone aboard. People ask if we knew what was going to happen when we started to make the first series and the answer is that, of course, we had no idea.

”Exactly why the series had such an impact and reached so many people around the world, all nationalities, all ages, I cannot begin to explain.”

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