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Downton Abbey fans delighted at the Queen awarding this actor in New Year Honours

Twiggy Lawson, Thandie Newton and Michael Palin were also honoured

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Downton Abbey fans were delighted with this weekend's news that Jim Carter has been made an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for his work in drama. Jim - who plays the Crawley family's butler Charles Carson - said he was"delighted" at being able to share the exciting news of his OBE with his 99-year-old mother, Molly Carter. The Yorkshire-born 70 year old actor said: "I'm honoured. I'm particularly delighted this honour came in time to share with my mum, Molly, who is 99 and she was thrilled, she lit up at the news, so that was very good." He added: "I'm sure it's in recognition of the popularity of Downton and also personally I like to quietly take it as a thank you for what Downton has allowed me to do in terms of work for charity and fundraising." Jim is a supporter of charities including Shrouds of Somme and The Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

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jim and imelda© Photo: Rex

Jim and his wife Imelda

Fans were quick to share their congratulations with Jim on Twitter. One wrote: "So pleased to see this. Yes, an outstanding actor, I loved him and he is so deserving of this honour!" Another commented: "Jim Carter well represents British drama. I love good news." A third also revealed Jim's charity work over Christmas, adding: "I was volunteering at Crisis at Christmas on Boxing Day and he popped in."

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butler carson© Photo: BBC

Jim as Carson in Downton

Jim is is good company, as his wife, 62-year-old actress Imelda Staunton, was also awarded a CBE in 2016 for her services to drama. Speaking about her reaction to his honour, he revealed: "She was delighted (at the news). I mean, I guess it's mainly recognition due to Downton Abbey. It says 'for services to drama' and I'm not sure quite what services I've given to drama - longevity probably as I'm approaching about 49 years in the business - so a long service medal!"

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The big-screen adaptation of the hit ITV drama Downton Abbey will be released in 2019

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