Search

Downton Abbey butler Jim Carter ‘given the night off’ to switch on Steele’s Christmas lights

PUBLISHED: 14:17 07 December 2012 | UPDATED: 10:55 10 December 2012

Actor Jim Carter switches on  Steele's Village Christmas Lights,pictured with The Village School choir

Actor Jim Carter switches on Steele's Village Christmas Lights,pictured with The Village School choir

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

Downton Abbey star Jim Carter was “given the night off by Lord and Lady Crawley” to switch on the Christmas lights in Steele’s Village.

Actor Jim Carter switches on  Steele's Village Christmas Lights,pictured with young ballet dancersActor Jim Carter switches on Steele's Village Christmas Lights,pictured with young ballet dancers

Hot on the heels of the Highgate and Hampstead Christmas festivals, this fledgling north London village was determined not to be outdone, packing a real punch with carols, classical music and its own sprinkling of celebrity stardust.

Steele’s Village, between Chalk Farm and Belsize Park, has tried to forge its own identity in recent years – with a bus stop named after the area – and the third annual Christmas festival sought to build on that.

Lynn Whiting, or the “queen of Steele’s Village” who organised the festivities, said: “We are trying to make a village so we have got all the shops on board, all the local schools and using everyone’s talents and it’s all gathering momentum with the bus stop and the petition to have Boris bikes here.”

Mr Carter was joined by wife Imelda Staunton, Shakespearian actor Leonard Whiting and Bridget Jones author Helen Fielding for the countdown to Christmas.

The Downton Abbey butler warmed up the gathered throng, quipping that this event would rival the multi-million pound festive ceremonies.

Jim, who is also chairman of Hampstead Cricket Club, told the Ham&High: “It will be Blackpool and then the Oxford Street lights next for me.

“This is what’s great about London, you live in a big city but you have your own patch. West Hampstead is a village and this [Steele’s Village] is lovely. Just look up and down the street. It looks jolly with the children singing.”

Ms Staunton, of Harry Potter fame, said her “Christmas starts here” and she was already bracing herself for Christmas Day when she has been tasked with preparing a feast for 12 at home in West Hampstead.

The Steele’s Strings quartet kicked-off the festivities with some classical hits at the Legal Café in Haverstock Hill as the mulled wine flowed.

In the build-up to the big switch-on, a choir from Village School in Parkhill Road, Belsize Park, treated the crowds to a collection of carols.

Ms Fielding, who is penning her third book in the Bridget Jones series from her home in Primrose Hill, said: “I have been living in Los Angeles for a long time and it’s really nice to have these small village events like this.

“I don’t think we realise how lucky we are.

“I had a little tear in my eye when they sang Once in Royal David’s City. I nearly burst into tears.”

0 comments

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 16:32

Camden children took to the stage today with the cast of hit production STOMP as part of a campaign to encourage exercise across the borough.

Yesterday, 15:39

The struggle for the marginal parliamentary seat of Hornsey and Wood Green has kicked off – with Labour MP Catherine West and Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate Dawn Barnes fighting over the key issue of Brexit.

Yesterday, 15:29

The parliamentary candidate is pleased that ex-MP David Ward has been sacked as a Lib Dem election candidate after accusing “the Jews” of atrocities against the Palestinians.

Yesterday, 15:01

A new action group urges residents to make their views known on “the most significant re-landscaping of the Golders Green neighbourhood since its creation” – with new houses and shops and the demolition of the Clock Tower War Memorial proposed.

Yesterday, 12:44

Part of the Northern line between Camden and Edware will be closed while a track is replaced and the overground will also be partially closed.

Yesterday, 11:50

The suspect exposed himself to two women after asking them for directions to the nearest toilets and started to perform a sex act.

Yesterday, 10:43

The creperie, which attracts celebrity customers such as Kate Moss and Harry Styles, could close as the owner is being forced to pay back the majority of a £15,000 electricity bill which he believes he could not have run up

Wed, 11:53

A group of Camden teachers have challenged themselves to cycle the length of the separation wall that divides the Palestinian West Bank from Israel.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now