Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 26 October 2014

Downton unites family, says Carter

Jim Carter plays stoical butler Carson in Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey star Jim Carter has revealed the programme has brought his family closer together, as his wife Imelda Staunton and teenage daughter are both fans.

The veteran actor - who plays stoical butler Carson in the hit ITV1 show - admitted it was not often he and his actress wife found something daughter Bessie wanted to watch on television with them.

Jim said: "My wife is a big fan of the show. We love to sit down as a family - wife, daughter and dad - on a Sunday night and watch it together. I think that's nice because an 18-year-old's not going to let you watch many programmes with her. So we sit down together and wind down the week with Downton Abbey. It's lovely."

However, Jim said Downton is not always a family affair. The 63-year-old actor said he does not let his wife test him on his lines, in order to keep the plot a surprise.

Lesley Nicol, who plays cook Mrs Patmore, on the other hand, revealed her husband steals her scripts.

She said: "My husband's a shocker, because he sneaks off and reads it which he knows he's not allowed to do. He knows he can't say anything, but he can't resist saying 'I know what happens but I can't say anything' which just irritates people. But he knows if he opened his mouth I'd have to kill him."

The latest series of Julian Fellowes's period drama returns to ITV1 this autumn, following the Crawley family and their household as they enter the 1920s.

There will be new fashions and hairstyles above stairs, and new technology below stairs.

Phyllis Logan, who plays housekeeper Mrs Hughes, revealed: "We've got inventions coming in all the time. We get a toaster. That was the excitement in episode four - a toaster. And a Hoover - or a 'vacuum cleaner'."

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