Downton Abbey‘s Lord Grantham, aka Hugh Bonneville, made the most of lockdown time away from his usual busy filming schedules to give a little back to his Sussex community.
The actor has been volunteering at his local vaccination hub, welcoming residents to the Midhurst pharmacy vaccination centre who come for their Covid-19 jab.
In a video report for the BBC, Bonneville, who donned a cowboy hat and high-vis jacket, joined a number of other volunteers who’ve donated their time in helping assist with the NHS’s huge vaccination roll-out.
The actor appeared to be marshalling people safely into the centre and greeting those who had turned up, particularly elderly residents who might have been nervous about leaving their homes. The volunteers’ job is to help provide, as one told the BBC, ‘A bit of fun, a bit of humour before they go into the hall.’
In the interview Bonneville said, ‘For some people it’s the first time they’ve been out of their house in a year.
‘We’ve had people who’ve really been grateful for the outing as much as anything and this sense of a glimmer of hope, so it’s great to be part of this team effort.’
In the BBC video Bonneville says, ‘There’s about 80 willing volunteers on the rota. Obviously only a fraction of those have been used, but the capacity is there, everybody is gearing up.’
Some residents hadn’t noticed the famous face amongst the volunteers. When asked, one gentleman said, ‘No, too early in the morning for that. He looks like a cowboy,’ while another said, ‘Well, I don’t like Downton, shhh!’ However, one jab-goer admitted, ‘I got a selfie with him.’
Bonneville jokingly told the reporter, ‘You get the odd, you know, “marmalade sandwich” thrown at you.’
On Twitter, the actor shared some snaps of his new role, writing, ‘I get to wear a high viz and everything. #Jabtastic.’
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1️⃣ With former nurse Jo Wiltshire (left), Raj and retired GPs Andrew Douglas & Madelaine Litchfield (who gave me my AstraZeneca jab).
— Hugh Bonneville (@hughbon) January 29, 2021