Bates faces jury in Downton Abbey Christmas Special

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Michelle Dockery

Michelle Dockery

Bates will face a jury in the 'Downton Abbey' Christmas Special as he is charged with the murder of his ex-wife.

Bates will face a jury in the 'Downton Abbey' Christmas Special as he is charged with the murder of his ex-wife.

The valet - played by Brendan Coyle - was dragged away at the end of the second series of the ITV1 period drama after being accused of killing his vengeful former spouse Vera (Maria Doyle Kennefy), leaving his wife Anna (Joanne Froggatt) devastated.

Now, as the rest of 'Downton' celebrates the festive season, Bates will face trial to see whether he will sent to be hanged for the alleged crime.

Brendan said: "It's a harsh world for Anna and Bates. The events around them have been catastrophic and conspire against them, but the moments of reprieve they do have are caring and loving.

"The trial has an impact on everyone, not just Anna. Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville) has always stuck by him, considers them friends almost. Isobel Crawley (Penelope Wilton) and Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) are there to support both him and Anna."

Meanwhile, the ongoing love triangle between hunky Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens), Lord Carlisle (Iain Glen) and Lady Mary will see fans finally have an answer to who will win the heart of the aristocratic beauty for good.

However, Dan believes the "Will they, won't they" aspect of the storyline is one of the most "enjoyable" aspects of 'Downton', and his biggest challenge is hiding his scripts from his wife.

He told BANG Showbiz: "As far as I'm concerned our storyline and that, 'Will they, won't they?' is one of the most enjoyable things about being in 'Downton'.

"Trying to keep the scripts away from my wife is actually the biggest challenge."

Set over the festive period in 1919, the two-hour 'Downton Abbey' Christmas Special will be on ITV1 at 9pm on Christmas Day (25.12.11).

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