HUDDERSFIELD Town’s newly-signed striker Daniel Carr, has just become one of Downton Abbey’s biggest fans.
That’s because his elder brother Gary, is to appear as the smash-hit period drama’s first black actor.
Nineteen-year-old Londoner Daniel, who has been signed from non-league club Dulwich Hamlet , hopes to be as big a hit on the pitch as Gary, 26, has been on the small screen and stage.
"It’s fantastic news for Gary, and I’m so pleased for him," said Daniel, who also has a sister Lorita, who is at college in Birmingham training to be a chef.
"We’re a close family, and my mum and dad and brother and sister have been hugely supportive of me over the years, so it’s great to see them doing well," said Daniel.
Parts in TV programmes like Silent Witness, Holby City, Death in Paradise and Bluestone 42, along with his lead role in the Royal National Theatre stage production of the Terry Pratchett novel, Nation, brought Gary to the attention of Downton Abbey's producers.
He will appear as jazz singer Jack Ross in series four of Julian Fellowes’ ITV1 blockbuster, set in a fictional Yorkshire country estate and depicting the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants in the post-Edwardian era.
Described as "a charming and charismatic young man", Carr’s character will be a performer at an exclusive club in the 1920s.
Fellowes revealed last year that he was planning to introduce a black or Indian character to "open the show up ethnically".
According to Gareth Neame, managing director of Downton co-producers Carnival Films, Carr’s addition to the cast "will bring interesting twists to the drama which we can’t wait for viewers to see."
While Gary’s career progressed after he trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art from 2005-08, Daniel had to rebuild his after being released by Reading at the end of an academy scholarship last summer.
Transformed from a winger to a striker by Dulwich manager Gavin Rose, he banged in 29 goals to help them win the Isthmian League Division I South title and attract attention from the likes of Chelsea and Liverpool.
Town pipped a string of clubs for his signature on a two-year contract, with Dulwich pocketing a reported £50,000.