Downton Abbey’s Christmas Day special has some surprises for Argyll

John Patrick and Lewis ready for shooting Christmas day special Downton Abbey

Runaway hit period drama series, Downton Abbey, shot much of its Christmas Day special show at Inveraray Castle.

John Patrick of Argyll Adventure is also making an appearance and one of his horses, the beautiful Lewis is, he says, starring.

To whet the appetite of the hordes of Downton fans, here are some stills of the action scheduled for Tuesday. These will also let you see the cut of John Patrick’s jib in the show.

The top shot is of Lewis and John, after make up and before shooting.

Stars shootoing Downton Abbey Christmas show at Inveraray Castle

This shows some of the stars of the show shooting a scene.

John P with highland hoirse in Downton Abbey Christmas day show shot at Inveraray Castle

Here is John Patrick again, this time with a Highland called Alice of Caimbe – from the Newtonmore riding centre.

Stag shoot Downton Abbey Chrstmas Day special 2012

And this is a shot of the stag on a shoot supplied by the Argyll Estates, The stag was shot the day before the shoot, so to speak.

The shooting of the episode was described as being ‘… very chilled shoot -  long day  – everyone was very nice. No tantrums and we were fed well.’

Lewis was a star and should feature for more than a few seconds. John was fattened up and spent over an hour in makeup to produce the character seen above. He says it was great fun having make up artists chasing you around the set, checking you look just right.

As a perfectionist himself, he was impressed with the considerable attention to detail, with several period experts on site at all times.

And on Christmas Day – Tuesday – you can check it all out – as can John, who – ssshhhhh – is new to the show.

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9 Responses to Downton Abbey’s Christmas Day special has some surprises for Argyll

  1. I am a Downton Abbey fan (sad I know) but even if I wasnt, I can see how we at Argyll and the Isles Tourism will be leveraging publicity for the area from Inveraray Castle’s involvement in the show. We may even include a Downton theme somewhere in this years Best of the West Festival.

    There are entire travel companies built around helping people to visit thier favourite movie locations, and we are talking to a few of them already.

    If anyone has knowledge of what areas of Argyll and the Isles have been used as movie sets in the past, please let me know.

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    • It’s quite a while ago, but the ‘Para Handy’ series with Gregor Fisher used quite a few bits of Argyll as locations. I think the other ones are fairly well kent; ‘Hamish Macbeth’ in Plockton and ‘Balamory’ in Tobermory.

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    • Hi Mike;
      Ring of Bright Water
      Catch Me A Spy
      The Bridal Path
      Eye of the Needle
      There was a series ‘Sutherlands Law’ starring Ian Cuthbertson depicting the life (i think) about a highland Procurator fiscal?
      I think their was also a film which re-enacted Culloden shot partly in Oban area?

      Not sure of exact locations but with some research …..

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    • I didn’t think to go back quite that far; there are lots to choose from, off the top of my head:

      The Maggie
      When Eight Bells Toll
      From Russia With Love

      I was googling for inspiration and found this website, which is entirely about what bits of Scotland have appeared in films and TV programmes.

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  2. Luss was home to Take the High Road and Dumbarton is home to River City. My house sits on the fault line between the two: a tcheuchter in the Lounge and weegie in the bathroom

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    • A truly horrendous CGI stag in the first glimpse of the breed; and why did they have to go for such a cringe-making cliched renaming of the estate – Duneagle,
      But – wonderful scenic shots, in some number, of the uniquely lovely Inveraray Castle, its gardens, grounds, river, bridges and the landmark folly of Dun na Cuaiche. This has to be a major marketing coup.

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  3. One of the few great shows available on TV. Canada and the USA are totally outclassed by this production. The USA would only dwell on violence as they usually do; the producers are of the opinion that viewers must have their “bloodwork”.

    Great show producers and thanks.

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