With the inevitability of an acid putdown from the Dowager Countess of Grantham, a new Downton Abbey movie has been confirmed following the success of the first film last year.

Speaking on ITV show Good Morning, actor Jim Carter, who has played faithful butler Carson since the wildly successful period drama began in 2010, said a second movie about the gilded life of the aristocratic Crawley family would begin shooting next year.

Watch Alan Corr's interview with Downton Abbey stars Phyllis Logan, Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, and Jim Carter 

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"If you promise not to tell anyone, I'll let you know that we’ve seen a script," Carter said.

"The script for a second film is there. We’ve seen it, it’s very funny," he added. "It’s got all the same characters in, all the regular characters, and I think the will is, COVID willing, we’ll film it next year."

A scene from the first Downton movie

Carter reprised his role as Carson for Downton’s gig screen debut, which was set in 1927 and saw the Grantham household go into a right royal tizzy when King George V dropped by for a visit.

On a filming budget of $12-13 million, the first Downton Abbey movie earned $194m worldwide and was the 10th highest-grossing film of 2019 in the UK.

The show, which ran between 2010 and 2015, was a massive success on TV, hitting an average of 10 million viewers an episode across its decade on screens.

Carter said that Downton Abbey was not considered to be a sure-fire hit when it first aired and that all involved were "pleasantly surprised" by the success the show found.

The Downton cast 

"It's about love and people looking for love and it’s about decent people," he said. "Everybody in it is trying to be the best they can be really and it’s uncynical.

"It’s like getting into a warm bath, thinking 'oh I’m going to enjoy this and relax a little bit’. So people really enjoy that, I think, and now we need that more than ever."