Academy and Emmy Award winner, Lord Julian Fellowes is the new president of a Dorset society.

Dorset based Lord Fellowes who is the creator of hit TV show Downton Abbey and current series The Gilded Age, has been elected President of the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society (DNHAS) which oversees Dorset Museum and Art Gallery.

He is taking the reins from Lady Susan Bradbury who is standing down after ten years, having overseen a programme of critically acclaimed exhibitions and the re-opening of the newly transformed museum in 2021.

Bringing decades of experience from the forefront of the British and international arts scene, Lord Fellowes is a long-time resident of Dorset and has been a supporter of and generous donor to the museum and art gallery for many years.

Lord Fellowes said: “I am both delighted and extremely honoured to be put forward for this role. The Museum has grown and developed during my time here, so I have been able to witness its transformation into the marvellous place it is today.

"In fact, I have lived in the county for long enough to know that the combination of its natural evolution from its Jurassic beginnings combined with its role in the history of our country makes it unique.  The thought of being a custodian for its past, its present and its future, fills me with joy."

The organisation has more than 1000 members whose core purpose is to collect, preserve, research and exhibit objects relating to the culture of Dorset.

The position of president was once held by Thomas Hardy, with the society in existence since 1928.

Executive Director Claire Dixon said: “Dorset Museum and Art Gallery has hugely appreciated the support of Lord Fellowes for many years.  His commitment to Dorset and in particular, his clear interest and passion for the culture and heritage within our County, means he is well placed to serve as our President, and we are excited about his decision to stand.”