Downton Abbey star makes charity appeal

Jim Carter. (S)
Jim Carter. (S)

DOWNTON Abbey star and former Ashville College head boy Jim Carter will make a charity appeal on Radio 4 this weekend.

The Harrogate-born actor will bring to life the story of “Grace” and her fight for survival as a result of the AIDS pandemic in southern Africa, on behalf of the Starfish Greathearts Foundation.

He agreed to read the appeal despite a heavy filming schedule for the next series of Downton Abbey, as he is a keen supporter of the charity.

“What attracted me to Starfish was its inspirational story, the focus on the individual, ‘making a difference one child at a time,’ that really struck a note with me,” he said.

The three-minute programme, the first of three charity appeals, is on BBC Radio 4 on Sunday at 7.55am.

One of Starfish’s community fundraisers, Hester Enthoven, was born in Harrogate and went to the grammar school – where she was in the same year as Jim’s nice Lucy, while his sister worked in the school office.

The Radio 4 appeal is a big event for the charity, with around 1.3m people expected to tune in. Last year, appeals raised £2.25m for charities.

Next week will be a significant one for the charity, raising awareness of the issues that continue to destroy lives in southern Africa and highlighting the difference that a few pounds can make to children like nine-year-old “Grace”.

Jim currently appears in Downton Abbey as Carson the butler, and has previously appeared in The Singing Detective, Cranford, The Golden Compass, Red Riding and My Week with Marilyn.