Downton Abbey producer reunited with newly restored painting of great-grandmother in Hull

Portrait of Ivy Close on display at the Ferens Art Gallery in Hull Credit: ITV News Calendar

The producer behind the hit ITV drama Downton Abbey has been to Hull to be reunited with a painting of one of his ancestors for the first time. Gareth Neame has helped pay for the restoration of a portrait of Ivy Close, a glamour girl of her day, and his great grandmother which is now on display at the Ferens Art Gallery in Hull.

Gareth Neame pictured with his great-grandmother Ivy Close Credit: Family photograph

Gareth is a hugely successful television producer having won Emmy, Golden Globe and BAFTA awards for his work which includes producing the hit ITV drama Downton Abbey in which he named one of the kitchen maids Ivy in honour of his great grandmother who died when he was just 18 months old.

Ivy Close had her portrait painted as a prize after being named the most beautiful woman in the world by a national newspaper. She went on to become a model and an actress. But the painting became damaged and could not previously be displayed

Gareth now hopes new visitors to the gallery will enjoy looking at and learning about his famous great-grandmother.

Watch James Webster's full report about Gareth's visit to the Ferens Art Gallery: