Downton Abbey actor visits Harrogate

Actor Jim Carter at Harrogate's Royal Pump Room Museum.
Actor Jim Carter at Harrogate's Royal Pump Room Museum.

By Graham Chalmers

Downton Abbey star Jim Carter came back to his hometown to give a special talk recently.

The Harrogate-born actor, who plays the butler Carson in the hugely popular ITV show, visited the Royal Pump Room Museum as part of a series of popular events to coincide with the museum’s exhibition Age of Elegance: Costumes from Downton Abbey

Carter delighted the audience with stories about the show, the costumes, his lengthy and successful career on stage and screen and, even, visiting the White House.

The distinguished actor was also shown around the exhibition itself, remarkng that there weren’t any male costumes, before getting up to talk to the eager crowd.

The former Ashville College student, who was head boy in his final year, said: “The great thing about Downton is the attention to detail really shows in every aspect. My costume is like armour plating with the starched collar but it helps dictate how you play the part.”

The 65-year-old actor was happy to answer questions on anything from his path from Harrogate to Downton to recording a birthday greeting for Hilary Clinton.

Carter said: “We found that what people liked were the stories within the house, the relationships, the love stories, the characters and are less bothered about what was happening around the world at the time.”

He also revealed some behind-the-scenes secrets about how the show is made, including filming at Highclere Castle and Ealing Studios.

The exhibition, which runs until Tuesday, December 31, features costumes worn by the ladies of this popular multi-award winning costume drama in its first series set in the post-Edwardian period.

Age of Elegance: Costumes from Downton Abbey, The Royal Pump Room Museum, Crown Place, Harrogate, Monday-Saturday 10.30am-5pm, Sunday 2pm-5pm.