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Downton's butler encourages young thespians to follow their dreams

Harrogate born actor who is adored by millions as Downton Abbey's firm but fair butler Carson has taken time off from filming to encourage budding young thespians to follow their dreams.

The new drama studio at Ashville college, has been named after the former pupil, who returned to open the venue and talk to the students. Victoria Whittam reports.


An audience with "Carson"

He may be better known as the Downton Abbey butler "Carson" - but once upon a time, Jim Carter was head prefect at Ashville College in Harrogate.

And the old boy returned to his school to officially open its auditorium, which has just undergone a £2.25 million facelift - and to be honoured by having the school's drama studio named after him.

Audience with Jim Carter Credit: Calendar news

Downtown star returns to old school

Jim Carter Credit: ITV

Downton Abbey star Jim Carter - who plays Carson the Butler in the hit ITV drama - is guest of honour this afternoon at the opening of his old school's new drama studio.

Jim, who was head prefect at Harrogate's Ashville College, will officially open the new £2.25m drama studio which is named after him. Afterwards he will take to the stage for " An Afternoon with Jim Carter".

Downton gowns go on display

Dresses from Downton on display in Harrogate

Dresses worn by the ladies of Downton are coming to Yorkshire this weekend. An exhibition of some of the costumes worn in the first series are to go on display at Harrogate's Royal Pump Rooms.

A special exhibition of the Age of Elegance includes evening and day dresses worn by the well-heeled ladies of the multi-award winning costume drama series.

Visitors can discover the glamorous side of the post-Edwardian period through the costumes which are similar to those which would have been worn by affluent visitors to the Royal Pump Room in the years before the First World War as they took the famous waters.

Dress to impress
Gowns from the Age of Elegance


Downton star talks of his character's "racy past"

The new series of the hit drama Downton Abbey starts on ITV on Sunday September 22 - following the lives of the Crawley family in the roaring twenties .

We learn that Mr Carson, the strict butler, was once a popular entertainer and had a steamy love affair.

Divya Kohli caught up with actor, Jim Carter, from Harrogate to hear about Mr Carson's racy past.

Malton library helps Downton

The Yorkshire Gazette has been duplicated for the series

Staff at Malton library have been helping the production team of "Downton Abbey" to make sure the programme looks authentic. They were approached to create props and an exact duplicate of a newspaper from 1922 has been made for use in the next series.

Rare chance to see inside Lincoln Castle's male prison

Members of the public are getting a rare chance to see inside the former male prison at Lincoln Castle this weekend. It is being opened for a special heritage event following its appearance in the ITV1 drama Downton Abbey where it was used to film sequences set inside York Prison.

Male prison at Lincoln Castle Credit: ITV Calendar

Following this weekend's event the male prison will again be closed to members of the public until 2015 when a major £20m revamp of the site is due to be completed including a new visitor centre and better access to parts of the attraction which are not currently open.