Tea drinkers watched with astonishment as a Yorkshire brew was responsible for a major plot twist in a hit US television drama. Ashley Barnard reports

CONSPIRACY thriller Homeland is watched by millions of people in the US and has a growing fanbase on this side of the Atlantic after making its debut on Channel 4 earlier this year.

The series can even claim to have US President Barack Obama as its number one fan.

British actor Damian Lewis plays back-from-the-dead US Marine sergeant Nicholas Brody, who has been held as a prisoner of war for eight years by al Qaida.

His favourite tea, Yorkshire Gold, has featured heavily in the series, and was at the heart of a recent twist in the plot.

Internet “plot-spoilers” have hinted that the tea will play a crucial part in the coming weeks.

Yorkshire Tea, owned by Taylor’s of Harrogate, says its involvement in the programme is not down to product placement – Yorkshire Gold was added to the storyline by the show’s writers.

On Yorkshire Tea’s Facebook page, a statement admits the company knew about its appearance for some time, but said it was still a “surreal experience” to watch it on screen.

And one comment from a member of the Yorkshire Tea Facebook group said: “It warns you at the beginning of the episode that there are scenes of torture.

“That’ll be when he’s run out of Yorkshire Gold.”

Simon Eyles, marketing director of Taylor’s of Harrogate, said: “We were surprised to discover that Yorkshire Gold has been given such a starring role in Homeland, which has really got Yorkshire Tea drinkers both here at home and in the US talking, judging by the buzz on our Facebook and Twitter accounts over the past few months.

“We first heard about our role in the drama last year via our loyal followers in the States, who went online to let us know we were featuring heavily in the series when it first aired across the pond.

“We’re looking forward to brewing up every Sunday night with the rest of the country and seeing how the plot unfolds as the show is screened here in the UK.”

Homeland also stars Claire Danes as CIA officer Carrie Mathison, who believes Lewis’ character has been turned by terrorists and is a threat to national security.