If you were expecting Christmas trees and a nice awkward turkey and ham dinner at Downton this festive season then you'll be sorely disappointed because London's calling the Crawleys and co for a long hot summer in this year's special.

Yup, much like last year's offering (we hate to mention the war), this year's Downton Abbey Christmas Special will take the gang away from the big house and off to Buckingham Palace of all places. The Crawleys will be chilling in their London residence as the focus shifts to Lady Rose's 'coming out'. We'll leave it up to you to decide whether that's a good or a bad thing.

Cora's family have quite the starring role this time around, with Shirley MacLaine returning as the wonderful Martha Levinson. She'll be ably accompanied by her playboy son Harold (who Robert scurried off to save during the course of the last series), played by none other than Paul Giamatti.

There'll be plenty of other storylines in play as usual, with Carson taking the staff on a big day out and Daisy getting an 'unexpected invitation'. But of course, it wouldn't be a two-hour Downton marathon without some 'gripping' drama, and that's apparently going to come in the form of a great big scandal which also involves the monarchy.

Never fear though, big daddy Robert will go to 'great lengths' to make sure that his family and the royals worm their way out of this one. Sure if he wasn't covering up / sorting out scandals what else would he be doing?

You'll be happy to hear there there are a whole host of familiar faces returning too: Tom Cullen returns as Anthony Gillingham along with Julian Ovenden who'll be back as Charles Blake. We're guessing Mary's life won't be getting any easier so...

Catch the show on Christmas Day on UTV at 8.30pm. And be warned, it will indeed be two hours long.