How Does One Spend Christmas at Downton? By Singing, Of Course!

How Does One Spend Christmas at Downton? By Singing, Of Course
Credit: ITV

 

Ever wondered what Christmas is really like for the Granthams, Crawleys et all? Well, we can exclusively reveal that Charles Blake likes to hog the limelight, singing a selection of festive carols until Cora convinces him to duet with her on one song. After that, everyone gathers around to listen to Carson reading Twas the Night Before Christmas while the fire blazes in the hearth.

Okay, so maybe it’s not exactly like that, but for the first time ever, as well as the traditional Downton Christmas special on TV, the show is launching its very own Christmas album.

Charles Blake really will be singing, though in real life he is known as Julian Ovenden. He must be pretty good, as he released a pop album back in 2012….but then again, it couldn’t have been that big a hit otherwise we’d have known about it before now.

Still, Ovenden will be bringing us some traditional carols, including ‘Silent Night’ and my favourite Christmas song of all, ‘O Holy Night’. He probably won’t be as good as me.

He will also be performing a duet with Elizabeth McGovern, who plays Cora and has already released a record as front woman of folk-country group Sadie and the Hotheads.

“It was so exciting for me to have been given the opportunity to sing two songs in a totally different context to that which I’m accustomed – without my guitar, without my band,” McGovern said in a statement.

Quite, and I look forward to hearing them both sing, but the biggest pull for me has to be Jim Carter, aka Carson, reading Twas the Night Before Christmas as a close to the first disc in the double album. You can already imagine that it’s going to be sublime, can’t you? I have a feeling that will be on repeat while I sit here gazing at my Christmas tree with its twinkling lights. Sigh.

The rest of the album comprises tracks by existing musicians, including Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, who made a guest appearance on the show as an opera singer, and the choir of Kings College. The Downton TV theme has also been reworked as a two part festive suite.

Christmas at Downton Abbey will be released on November 10th.

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