Downton Abbey's Nigel Marchant has opened up about the future of the period drama.

Speaking at the Monte Carlo Television Festival, Marchant gave reporters a hint at when the show will end saying: "I know Julian's mentioned in the past there's a five-year span to it and we certainly want to end on a high and we're all of conscious of that.

"I think that's the joy of doing this series at the moment - we're still upping the ante. The scripts are fantastic. So I don't think anyone would put a line in the sand to say how much we're actually going to do."

Downton Abbey is set to return for a third series with actress Shirley MacLaine to guest star as Lady Grantham's mother.