It ain't exactly known for its 'uplifting' Christmas Specials (we loved the first but the second was quite frankly lacking in the thrills and frills department) so when Downton Abbey's Jim Carter aka Mr Carson was spotted in a Santa suit the TV world wondered what earth Fellowes and co were up to. Sure isn't 2014's festive offering filmed and (probably) ready to go already?
The super sleuths over at RadioTimes.com got on the case and discovered that the actor wasn't preparing to bring Santa Claus to Downton, but rather getting involved in a Greenpeace campaign that put a fair few world leaders on the naughty list. An Urgent Message From Santa sees a rather less jolly looking Jim sharing some tough tidings with the kids.
"Dear children, regrettably, I bring bad tidings" the veteran actor warns, before sharing a rather important message about the polar ice caps.
"For some time now melting ice here at the North Pole has made our operations and our day-to-day life intolerable and impossible. And there may be no alternative but to cancel Christmas. I have written personally to President Obama, President Putin, all world leaders. Sadly, my letters have been met with indifference. Needless to say these individuals are now at the top of my naughty list. My home in the Arctic is fast disappearing and unless we all act urgently, then, I have to warn you of the possibility of an empty stocking forevermore. Please help me."
Now, while that might be a lot for the little'uns to digest, Carter hopes his older fans will take heed of the message. "I want to do my part to help raise the profile of the threats posed to the Arctic by oil drilling and climate change," he said. "So I was pleased to have this opportunity to support Greenpeace and their amazing Christmas campaign."
What on earth would Lady Mary say?