Fans of wonderfully snooty British period drama Downton Abbey will be pleased to know that the Christmas special which screened in Britain last month will play here in February.

Prime has confirmed it will screen the special - though the channel is dividing the original movie length episode into two parts with the first to screen on Wednesday February 1, with the second a week later.

The episode is set in the Christmas of 1919 and features the murder trial of Mr Bates, Lord Grantham's loyal valet, as well as more of the ongoing will-they-won't-they? relationship between Lady Mary and Downton's heir apparent Matthew Crawley.

And a preview of Part 1 TimeOut has seen also shows it is exceedingly generous with trademark pithy one-liners by Dame Maggie Smith's Dowager Countess.


The Downton Abbey Christmas special was the fourth most-watched Yuletide telly show in Britain on December 25, trailing the seasonal one-offs for soaps EastEnders and Coronation Street and the Doctor Who Christmas special.

Earlier this week, the 2011 series won the Golden Globe for best miniseries or television film which followed its Emmy win in the same category last year.