'Downton Abbey' star Brendan Coyle banned from driving

LONDON -- Actor Brendan Coyle, who played beleaguered valet John Bates on TV drama "Downton Abbey," has been banned from driving after being caught behind the wheel after drinking.

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Coyle appeared at King's Lynn Magistrates' Court in eastern England Thursday under his real name, David Coyle, and pleaded guilty to drunken driving.

Police said he was stopped while driving a BMW convertible on a nearby road on Jan. 1. A breath test recorded him as almost three times the legal alcohol limit for driving.

The Eastern Daily Press newspaper said Coyle's lawyer, Steven Dyble, told the hearing that the actor was returning from an alcohol rehabilitation clinic in Thailand when he was stopped.

Coyle, who is 52, was banned from driving for 50 months and ordered to do 100 hours' unpaid work.


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