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Our Family Farm Rescue star Adam Henson's surprising link to Downton Abbey

The TV star comes from a showbiz family

adam henson downton abbey
Eve Crosbie
Eve CrosbieTV & Film Writer
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Adam Henson is a recognisable face on our screens thanks to his presenting duties on BBC One's Countryfile and his new Channel 5 show, Our Family Farm Rescue with Adam Henson

MORE: Who is Our Family Farm Rescue star Adam Henson married to?

But did you know the presenter has a surprising link to hit period drama Downton Abbey? Keep reading to find out more…

Adam comes from a pretty talented family; his father was Joe Henson MBE, a farmer and TV presenter, while his grandfather, Leslie Henson, was a well-known comedy actor who rubbed shoulders with the likes of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.

WATCH: Are you looking forward to the second Downton Abbey film?

His uncle Nicky Henson followed in his grandfather's footsteps and also became a successful actor. In his early career, Nicky made guest appearances in a number of popular shows such as Fawlty Towers, Inspector Morse and A Touch of Frost.

MORE: Countryfile: meet the presenters' children: Matt Baker, Adam Henson and more

MORE: What is Our Family Farm Rescue presenter Adam Henson's net worth?

He also landed guest roles in Heartbeat, The Bill and Doctors and in 2006 joined the cast of long-running soap, Eastenders as Jack Edwards, but left the production towards the end of the year due to health problems. However, viewers may best remember Nicky, who sadly passed away in 2019, for his recurring role in Downton Abbey. Starting from 2010, he played Charles Grigg, an acquaintance of Carson, the butler.

downton nicky henson

Do you remember Carson's unwelcome guest in series one?

He appeared in three episodes of the much-loved ITV drama. When viewers first met his character, he was on the run and paid Carson a visit at Downton in order to blackmail him into giving him food and shelter. It is revealed that he and Carson used to be part of a performing double act called The Cheerful Charlies. He made a further two appearances in the fourth season of the show. 

While Adam decided to follow his father into agriculture rather than his grandfather and uncle into acting, he did get a taste of the showbiz lifestyle.

adam henson farm

Adam has spoken about his showbiz family roots

He told The Mirror back in 2016: "Growing up, my Uncle Nicky used to bring people like Una Stubbs and Susan Hampshire to visit. He was married to Una, so they were around at Christmas and came for holidays. It was a bit of a bolt hole for them to get out of London. They loved getting stuck in and seeing the animals."

MORE: Our Yorkshire Farm star Amanda Owen shares daughter Clemmie’s hilarious reaction to telling off

He added: "We provided animals for films and dramas too. We had some oxen in Braveheart, we had a pig in The Hour of the Pig with Colin Firth, another pig starred in 101 Dalmatians."

For the 1995 blockbuster Braveheart, Adam even appeared on-screen alongside his animals! He explained: "We had rare long-horned oxen at the farm and they're trained to pull carts. I brought them on set, put on a big ginger wig and a kilt with a mate of mine and worked with the actors to get the oxen to drag William Wallace's dead body in a cart. The camera zooms right in on my face at one point. That's pretty cool."

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