JIM Carter and his wife Imelda Staunton were welcomed to the Castle House hotel as hosts of a charity lunch in aid of two local charities, the Little Princess Trust and the Herefordshire Cricket Society.

Jim, best known for his portrayal of Carson the incomparable butler in Downton Abbey, is a cricket fanatic and former school acquaintance of Howard Tomlinson, the former headmaster of Hereford Cathedral School, another cricket fan.

Tim Lowe, Chair of the Herefordshire Cricket Society and Trustee of the Little Princess Trust, had invited Jim to come to Herefordshire and his wife Imelda Staunton decided to join him, much to the delight of the lunch supporters.

After a Tanners Champagne reception, Jim called everyone ‘Carson style’ into the hotel restaurant for lunch following which the celebrity duo entertained a packed room with tales of cricket and their acting life.

Tim Lowe said: “It was a thoroughly enjoyable occasion. Jim and Imelda were entertaining, warm and genuine."