Hoots m'lud! Nessie's in McDownton
09:17 GMT, 13 December 2012
Apparently, the Downton Abbey Christmas Special finds the entire Grantham household transplanted to Scotland. They have decamped to Duneagle Castle, home of the Marquess of Flintshire. This handy cut-out-and-keep A-Z of Who’s McWho in Downton McAbbey is yours to treasure.
Aberdeen, Angus: The Downton Abbey staff are welcomed to Duneagle by flamboyant head butler Aberdeen Angus, clad in full tartan, playing Road To The Isles on the bagpipes. Peevish lady’s maid Miss O’Brien violently raises her eyebrows and sets about puncturing his bagpipes, causing an almighty ‘bang’.
An inquiry ensues, led by head butler Mr Carson. When he finds a knitting needle with faint traces of tartan in O’Brien’s bottom drawer, his suspicions are raised, but O’Brien insists that the conniving valet Thomas is to blame.
Relocation: Apparently, this year's Downton Abbey Christmas Special finds the entire Grantham household (Mr Carson pictured) transplanted to Scotland
Bagpipes: On their first day at Duneagle, the Earl of Grantham and Matthew Crawley go on a Bagpipe Shoot with their host Fred MacFlintstone, Marquess of Flintshire.
‘Please be minded, m’lud, that the bagpipes are flying high this season,’ advises head butler Aberdeen Angus. Nevertheless, the Earl and Matthew manage to bag 50 brace of bagpipes.
‘Och, we’ll be havin’ a fine ceilidh tonight the noo!’ exclaims Angus, as he plucks and fillets each bagpipe in preparation for the evening’s feast.
Brown, Gordon: ‘Might I have a word, m’lord’ says Carson, as the Grantham family sits down for dinner.
‘Can’t it wait, Carson’ sighs the Earl, testily.
‘There’s a gentleman at the door who insists he’s a former Prime Minister, m’lord.’
It is Gordon Brown, his features racked with grievance.
‘I thought we had seen the last of you!’ snaps the Earl. ‘Be off with you!’
Nessie: Has the Duke of Edinburgh finally found the Loch Ness Monster
After a fraught discussion, it emerges that Gordon Brown lives at Dunpollin, just across the glen, and has chosen this occasion, the Christmas edition of Downton Abbey, to relaunch his political career.
He and his manically tweeting wife, Sarah, are finally chased out of the castle by Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham, who reflects: ‘Seeking a political comeback on prime-time television is so terribly middle-class.’
Brown, John: Queen Victoria’s devoted manservant, the brawny John Brown (played by former comedian Billy Connolly), arrives unexpectedly at Duneagle, and proceeds to make eyes at Lady Edith, nervy spinster daughter of the Earl and Countess of Grantham.
‘But I love him, Papa!’ protests Lady Edith, over dinner. ‘And I’m . . . I’m . . . expecting his baby!’
‘More wine, m’lord’ interrupts Carson.
‘I expressly forbid it,’ protests the Earl.
‘Only asking,’ sighs Carson.
‘It is dreadfully common to talk at cross-purposes,’ reflects the Dowager Countess.
Caber, Tossing the: At the local Highland Games, Mrs Patmore and her learning-difficulties sidekick Daisy are selected by Carson to Toss the Caber. But, at the last minute, the dastardly Thomas sabotages the Downton Caber by dowsing it with McSuperglue, and Mrs Patmore and Daisy find themselves spinning headlong through the air.
‘Blimey, Mrs Patmore, I’ve no head for heights!’
‘Sorry, Mrs Patmore!’
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Dram, Wee: The Granthams’ host, the Marquess of Flintshire, employs an under-valet called Wee Dram, who, at 3ft 6in, is perfectly suited to the tricky task of shinning up the underskirts of the Dowager Countess to retrieve any household items she may have accidentally-on-purpose plundered from the Flintshires’ priceless collection of objets d’art.
The Countess was diagnosed with a mild attack of kleptomania after staying the night with Queen Victoria and Prince Albert at Balmoral, just across the glen.
It was after Queen Victoria discovered her collection of Andy Stewart 78rpm records had mysteriously disappeared that she sent for local detective Captain Hastings.
A full body-search of every visitor eventually uncovered the entire collection beneath the stays of the Dowager Countess’s evening dress.
‘Heaven knows how they got there,’ explained the Countess, under oath. ‘But it’s so very middle-class to fuss about one’s whys and wherefores.’
Edinburgh, Duke of: ‘Might I have a word, m’lord’
‘Can’t it wait, Carson’
‘The Duke of Edinburgh is at the door, m’lord. He has brought the Loch Ness Monster with him. They wonder if they might join you for a drink’
‘The Duke of Edinburgh, Carson On no account tell the Countess, or she’ll be scared witless.’
To be continued . . .