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Downton Abbey creator made a peer

The creator of hit ITV period drama Downton Abbey is to be made a Conservative peer in the House of Lords, it has been revealed.

Julian Fellowes, the film director and screenwriter, was among 54 new working peers announced by Downing Street.

The list also included party donors including millionaire car importer Bob Edmiston and Conservative co-treasurer Stanley Fink, as well as Tory fundraiser Andrew Feldman.

Labour donor Sir Gulam Noon, the curry tycoon, was also honoured.

Former Army chief General Sir Richard Dannatt is to take a place in the Lords as a crossbencher, despite being nominated by David Cameron when he was leader of the Opposition.

Divorce lawyer Fiona Shackleton, whose clients have included Sir Paul McCartney and the Prince of Wales, will become a Tory peer.

The Labour benches will be joined by Dame Joan Bakewell - once described as "the thinking man's crumpet".

Michael Grade, the former BBC chairman and ITV executive chairman, will also become a Conservative peer, as will businessman Sir Michael Bishop.

Tory ex-MPs who are to join the House of Lords include Howard Flight, the former Conservative deputy chairman forced to resign after being taped before the 2005 general election suggesting the Tories had secret spending cut plans. The others are Richard Spring, former chief whip David Maclean and Sir Michael Lord, who became deputy speaker of the Commons.

Additions to the Labour benches include Stewart Wood, a former adviser to Gordon Brown until after this year's general election. Labour Party general secretary Ray Collins and former Labour MP Oona King are also to receive peerages.

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