ITV has confirmed Downton Abbey will end after series six.
The much-loved TV drama, some scenes of which are filmed at Ealing Studios, will come to an end after the next series with one final Christmas Day special.
Writer Julian Fellowes is ending the popular show so he can work on a new project about 19th century New York.
The announcement comes just weeks after the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton visited Ealing Studios to meet the cast and crew of the show.
Downton Abbey is the highest-rating UK drama of the past decade across any channel, with an average of 11m viewers over the course of the five series, including Christmas specials.
Mr Fellowes - writer, creator and executive producer - said: "The Downton journey has been amazing for everyone aboard. People ask if we knew what was going to happen when we started to make the first series and the answer is that, of course, we had no idea.
"Exactly why the series had such an impact and reached so many people around the world, all nationalities, all ages, all types, I cannot begin to explain. But I do know how grateful we are to have been allowed this unique experience.
"I suspect the show will always be a principal marker in most of our careers as we set out from here, and if so, I consider that a blessing and a compliment."
Production company Carnival’s managing director and executive producer, Gareth Neame, added: "Millions of people around the world have followed the journey of the Crawley family and those who serve them for the last five years.
"Inevitably there comes a time when all shows should end and Downton is no exception.
"We wanted to close the doors of Downton Abbey when it felt right and natural for the storylines to come together and when the show was still being enjoyed so much by its fans.
"We can promise a final season full of all the usual drama and intrigue, but with the added excitement of discovering how and where they all end up..."
ITV's director of television, Peter Fincham, said: “When Julian Fellowes and Gareth Neame brought us the idea for Downton Abbey six years ago we thought it would be a great Sunday night series for ITV, but we had no way of knowing that it would become a global phenomenon playing to hundreds of millions of viewers around the world.
"What a ride it's been - for everyone involved in the production, for the cast, and most of the all for the audience.
"We all thought very carefully about the right moment to bring something so special to a close that felt editorially right, and left viewers wanting more.
"Christmas Day on ITV this year will certainly be one to remember, as the concluding special brings a series to an end that started as a leap of faith for all of us, and ended surpassing all expectations.”
The shows - which has won awards at the Golden Globes, Emmys, PGAs, BAFTAs, National Television Awards and Screen Actors Guild - debuted on ITV in 2010 and has since become a global phenomenon, screened in over 250 territories worldwide.
Originally published on the Mirror Online.