THE stars of TV’s Downton Abbey – filmed locally at Highclere Castle – took a tea break to launch Marie Curie Cancer Care’s Blooming Great Tea Party.

The cast of servants, including new characters kitchen maid Ivy (Cara Theobold) and footman Alfred (Matt Milne), enjoyed putting their feet up on set during the filming of series three of the hit ITV drama and having a cuppa in aid of the charity.

Marie Curie Cancer Care is asking people to hold a Blooming Great Tea Party any time either this month or in July to help raise funds for the charity. It can be as simple as a cuppa with colleagues, an old-school tea party or even a much larger gathering.

Jim Carter, who plays butler Charles Carson, said: “What could be more Downton Abbey than a good British tea party? We rather enjoyed having a break from serving the Earl and Countess of Grantham.

“We’re encouraging everyone to do the same, and pop the kettle on and have their own Blooming Great Tea Party for Marie Curie Cancer Care this summer."

The money raised will help Marie Curie nurses to provide more free care to people with terminal cancer and other terminal illnesses in their own homes.

To find out more, or to obtain a fundraising pack, call 08700 340 040 or visit