Downton Abbey star Jim Carter hopes OBE recognises charity work and drama

Downton Abbey star Jim Carter has been awarded an OBE for services to drama – but said he liked to think it recognised his charity work as well.

The celebrity, who plays butler Charles Carson in the period drama, said the show had raised his profile and allowed him to better support good causes.

Speaking after the Buckingham Palace investiture ceremony, hosted by the Prince of Wales, he said about the honour: “I hope it’s in recognition for my charity work as well – I mean we get enough recognition for our day job,

“So I’m accepting this for drama and services to charity, in my mind that’s how I think of it.

Investitures at Buckingham Palace
Jim Carter stands with his wife Imelda Staunton at Buckingham Palace (John Stillwell/PA)

“That’s the joy of Downton Abbey, it gives you the profile you can then use for good effect.”

The star, who was joined at the palace by wife and actress Imelda Staunton, said they were both patrons of Richard House children’s hospice in east London and supported the Greenfingers charity that creates gardens in children’s hospices.

He also serves as an ambassador for the Special Olympics and supports Marie Curie.

Carter has starred in a range of films including 1996’s Brassed Off, about the troubles faced by a colliery brass band following the closure of their pit, and appeared in memorable TV series like Dennis Potter’s The Singing Detective.

Investitures at Buckingham Palace
Actor Jim Carter, known for his role in Downton Abbey playing Mr Carson, is made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by the Prince of Wales (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The actor also has a long list of theatre credits to his name, including Guys And Dolls at the National Theatre.

The big-screen adaptation of the ITV show Downton Abbey will be released in the autumn and speaking about its success, Carter said: “We thought it was good, and Maggie Smith was in it so there is a stamp of quality, but you never know with any script what’s going to take off and what isn’t.

“It became a global phenomenon really, It took off all over the world and nobody could predict that, you’d be mad if you did.

“And 40 years into your career, to get a boost like that was very welcome.”

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