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Downton Abbey Honoured with Special Award

11 August 2015

Julie Walters presented Award to Gareth Neame, Liz Trubridge and Julian Fellowes at BAFTA Tribute. Event hosted by Jonathan Ross and recorded for ITV broadcast, winter 2015.

Event: BAFTA Celebrates Downton AbbeyDate: 11 August 2015Venue: Richmond TheatreHost: Jonathan Ross-Area: GROUP SHOTSBAFTA/JONATHAN BIRCH
London, 11 August 2015: The British Academy of Film and Television Arts has honoured Downton Abbey with a Special Award at a BAFTA Tribute event this evening, celebrating the outstanding global success of the programme.

Julie Walters presented the Award to executive producers Gareth Neame, Liz Trubridge and Julian Fellowes in front of a live audience of past and present cast and crew from the series at the Richmond Theatre in Surrey. The current cast were in attendance, including Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Penelope Wilton, Jim Carter and Joanne Froggatt, as well as previous cast members including Dan Stevens, Nigel Harmon and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa.

The BAFTA Tribute was hosted by Jonathan Ross and filmed for a special programme entitled BAFTA Celebrates Downton Abbey, to be broadcast later this year on ITV. The Tribute featured a performance from opera singer Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, who played Dame Nellie Melba in series four of Downton Abbey.

Further details on BAFTA Celebrates Downton Abbey, which includes tributes from celebrity fans around the world and exclusive behind-the-scenes footage from one of the most successful British television series, will be revealed by the channel nearer transmission.

Following the event the cast and crew attended an after party hosted by BAFTA and NBC Universal, catered by rhubarb on Richmond Green.

On hearing that Downton Abbey was to be honoured with the Special Award, Gareth Neame, executive producer of the show and Managing Director of Carnival Films, said: “‎As Downton Abbey moves towards its conclusion with the final season this autumn, I speak for the entire cast and crew when I say how honoured we are that the Academy will recognise the show with this Special Award. Not only is Downton a much-loved show in Britain, it has had huge success in both the US and right around the world, waving the flag for Britain and our creative content and that's why the BAFTA recognition means so much to us all.”

Peter Fincham, ITV’s Director of Television, said: "It's fair to say that over the past six years Downton Abbey has become a phenomenon.  It is much loved by not only ITV viewers but also by countless others around the world.  I am thrilled for everyone at Carnival Films and the entire team involved in the production that they have been honoured by BAFTA with this Tribute and Special Award."

Michael Edelstein, President of NBCUniversal International Studios, sponsor of the after party, said: "We are so proud of the entire cast and crew who have all played a role in earning BAFTA’s Special Award. Downton Abbey is nothing short of a global cultural phenomenon, whose compelling storylines and characters are beloved by millions around the world. Julian Fellowes and Gareth Neame’s sublime drama has secured its place as a beacon of British creativity that will live on for decades to come.”

Carnival Films is part of NBCUniversal International Studios.

Red carpet footage is available from PA, AP and ITN Source. Special Award presentation footage is available from ITN Source. Photography is available via Rex Features and BAFTA.

For more information, contact:

Nick Williams at BAFTA
T 020 7292 5848
E [email protected]

Gary Smith at ITV
T 0207 157 3016
E [email protected]

Una Maguire at Milk Publicity
T 020 7520 1087
E [email protected]


The British Academy of Film and Television Arts is an independent charity that supports, develops and promotes the art forms of the moving image by identifying and rewarding excellence, inspiring practitioners and benefiting the public. In addition to its Awards ceremonies, BAFTA has a year-round programme of learning events and initiatives – featuring workshops, masterclasses, scholarships, lectures and mentoring schemes – in the UK, USA and Asia; it offers unique access to the world’s most inspiring talent and connects with a global audience of all ages and backgrounds. BAFTA relies on income from membership subscriptions, individual donations, trusts, foundations and corporate partnerships to support its ongoing outreach work. To access the best creative minds in film, television and games production, visit For more, visit

About NBCUniversal International Studios

NBCUniversal International Studios delivers award-winning international television including Downton Abbey and Made in Chelsea to millions across the globe. Its production labels include: Carnival Films, Monkey Kingdom, Chocolate Media, Lucky Giant and Matchbox Pictures. The division operates a joint television production venture with Working Title Television, owns an equity stake in LARK Productions, has a first look deal with Hardy Son & Baker and has established Tellycopter, a research and development resource that sits alongside its production companies. It also operates a prolific global formats business.

About Carnival Films

Carnival Films is a division of NBC Universal International Studios and is the UK’s largest drama specialist.  The company is responsible for the global TV sensation Downton Abbey, winner of three Golden Globes and eleven Primetime Emmy awards, including Best Mini-series.  It is the most nominated non-US show in the history of the Emmy’s with a total of 59 nominations and is now in over 250 territories worldwide.  Among numerous national and international awards, including three Screen Actors Guild Awards and three National Television Awards, the show has even garnered a Guinness World Record for highest critical ratings for a TV show.  Downton Abbey is executive produced by Carnival’s Managing Director Gareth Neame, who sold the production company to NBCUniversal in 2008. Founded in 1978, Carnival Films has produced many hundreds of hours of popular drama both in the UK and US, including primetime series such as Poirot, Hotel Babylon, Whitechapel, Dracula and The Philanthropist, as well as mini-series such as C4’s iconic Traffik, David Nicholl’s The 7:39, David Hare’s Worricker Trilogy as well as William Boyd’s BAFTA-winning Any Human Heart, and Peter Morgan’s BAFTA-winning The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies. Carnival Film’s latest series The Last Kingdom is in production for BBC Two and BBC America, along with the sixth and final series of Downton Abbey, Stan Lee’s Lucky Man for Sky 1, and is also co-producing Hollow Crown 2: War of the Roses with Neal Street starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Judi Dench. Carnival Films has recently announced major new projects such as Freud, Bill Gallagher’s Jamestown, Neil Cross’s Bay of Plenty with Libertine Pictures and Magnum with Magnum Photos. Carnival Films was recognised as best production company at the 2011 Bulldog Awards and 2012 Broadcast Awards.