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Downton Abbey stars come to Camden for bear charity fundraiser

17:50 20 June 2014

Actors Raquel Cassidy, Sophie McSheera and Lesley Nicol with Jill Robinson MBE (founder and CEO of the charity Animals Asia), and actors Peter Egan and Joanne Foggatt attend a charity fundraiser at Gilgamesh in Camden Town. Picture: Polly Hancock

Actors Raquel Cassidy, Sophie McSheera and Lesley Nicol with Jill Robinson MBE (founder and CEO of the charity Animals Asia), and actors Peter Egan and Joanne Foggatt attend a charity fundraiser at Gilgamesh in Camden Town. Picture: Polly Hancock

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Downton Abbey stars gathered at Camden Stables Market’s Gilgamesh restaurant yesterday to help raise money for animal welfare charity Animals Asia.

Downton Abbey actors Lesley Nicol, Sophie McSheera, and Joanne Foggatt at the charity fundraiser in Gilgamesh, Camden Town. Picture: Polly HancockDownton Abbey actors Lesley Nicol, Sophie McSheera, and Joanne Foggatt at the charity fundraiser in Gilgamesh, Camden Town. Picture: Polly Hancock

Lesley Nicol (Downton’s Mrs Patmore) led the way having become a devoted supporter of the charity and its work to end bear bile farming in China and Vietnam. This followed a trip to Animals Asia’s bear sanctuary in Chengdu, China, last year during a break in Downton filming.

On her return, she said: “My husband and I felt completely privileged to be invited to visit Chengdu - and we had no idea what to expect - but it was without doubt one of the most extraordinary experiences of my life.”

Ms Nicol was joined by co-stars Sophie McSheera (aka Daisy Mason), Joanne Foggatt (aka Anna, Lady’s Maid to Lady Mary Crawley) and Peter Egan (aka Shrimpie Flintshire).

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