Published Saturday, 16 August 2014
The cast of Downton Abbey pose with water bottles to promote WaterAid. (© ITV)
A publicity still released this week hit the headlines when a plastic water bottle was spotted in the corner of the picture.
The official photograph of The Earl and Lady Edith was cropped and used during the launch of the new season, but it was when an un-cropped version of the image worked its way onto the internet that it sparked a global press frenzy.
A spokesman for the show said: "It's testament to the huge success of Downton that something like this makes headlines around the world.
"While the water bottle is in the uncropped version of a publicity photograph we can assure you that it will not be making an appearance on screen."
An ITV spokesperson added: "After seeing the reaction the picture caused earlier this week, the cast and crew came up with the idea of turning some of this attention towards an issue around water that really matters.
"They hope that by posing for this picture they will be able to raise awareness and amplify the work of international charity - WaterAid."
Barbara Frost, Chief Executive of WaterAid, said: "It brought a really big smile to my face when the cast of Downton Abbey said that they wanted to support WaterAid's work.
"How fantastic that the attention created over one water bottle ends up benefiting some of the world's poorest communities through access to safe, clean water today.
"Every pound and penny WaterAid receives will be matched by the UK Government, which means we can reach twice as many people with desperately needed clean water and sanitation.
"Thank you so much to the cast and the producers of Downton Abbey."
© UTV News