Stars of Downton and Harry Potter back hospice charity

Two of the country’s biggest acting talents are backing a fundraising campaign at an East London children’s hospice.

Downtown Abbey star Jim Carter and actress Imelda Staunton – currently appearing alongside Michael Ball in Sweeney Todd, in the West End – have both filmed short pieces for the Harry’s Million campaign at Richard House Children’s Hospice.

The films focus on Jim and Imelda’s life-changing moments. They form a collection of short movies designed to publicise the fundraising campaign that aims to raise �1m over the next two years.

The campaign was inspired by Harry Singh, 24, of Forest Gate. He has been using the hospice since it opened as London’s first in 2000 and all the money he raises will go towards funding its nurses and play and care workers.

Jim, who stars as the butler Carson in the hit ITV1 show, said: “My life-changing moment was on the beach in Brighton in 1970.

“I was at the University of Sussex at the time and in the summer I was doing children’s theatre on the beach.

“I had such a good time and I decided that’s what I wanted to do, so I left university and took a job as an actor on �5 a week.”

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Wife Imelda, a patron of the children’s hospice, said: “I’ve had a lot of wonderful moments in my life but my life-changing moment was the new life of my daughter.

“As an actor, you are always thinking about yourself and wondering if you’re good in this role or that. But then you have a child and you stop thinking about yourself and you think about them.

“It changed my life for the better. I thought I had a good life but it got better by a zillion million.”

You can watch these videos and more on the Richard House Facebook page,