By Emily Tait
Fans of Downton Abbey will be aware that one of the plotlines in the first series of the period drama was the cook Mrs Patmore slowly losing her sight, and now it seems that real life has imitated fiction, as the head chef at Highclere Castle, where the hit show is filmed, has required vision treatment.
Whereas the Downton Abbey episode saw Mrs Patmore sent to London to see a specialist by Lord and Lady Grantham, Highclere chef Paul Brooke-Taylor, 36, was sent to see the family specialist who treats his employers Lord and Lady Carnarvon.
Mr Brooke-Taylor developed vision problems after being hit by a football two years ago, and later transpired he suffered a stroke, which caused the gradual loss of his vision.
"We often watch Downton Abbey and recognise bits of Highclere Castle's real life playing out in front of us. It was quite strange when Mrs Patmore and I were going through exactly the same thing at the same time," he told the Daily Express.
After he was referred to the Carnarvon's private family eye specialist, Mr Brooke-Taylor joined with his employers to promote a special charity football match taking place to raise awareness of strokes among young people and hopefully avoid people having to go through the same ordeal he did.
"Lord and Lady Carnarvon were so supportive and didn't stop until we had answers as to why I was going blind," he told the newspaper.
by Adrian Galbreth