The Cheerful Charlies is the name given to the stage duo staring Charles Grigg and Charles Carson at the end of 1890s appearing at the Victoria Theatre somewhere in Yorkshire. This is a secret Carson has been keeping from the rest of of the household, servants and nobility alike as he feels it will bring him shame. Knowing this, in September 1912 Charles Grigg blackmailed him into stealing him food and drink out of Downton's kitchens. However all is revealed when Grigg appears at the main door of the abbey demanding to speak to Robert Crawley. All involved promise to keep Carson's unbelievable secret.
In February 1922 he writes to Mr Carson asking for help, as he is in the workhouse. Mr Carson throws the letter away but Mrs Hughes reads it and decides to help him herself. She visits Charles in the Ripon Workhouse and sees his condition for herself, afterwards first asks Mr Carson to help him and then appealing to Isobel Crawley after Mr Carson refuses. Isobel takes Charles from the workhouse and into her own house to help him get back on his feet and find work. Grigg repeatedly asks about Carson.
Eventually he gets a job in Belfast, and Carson (to the womens' surprise) goes to see him at the train station before he departs. It is revealed he and Carson fell out over a woman,Alice Neal, who had chosen Grigg over Carson. Grigg tells Carson she died five years ago, and that they had separated long before because their relationship failed. But he had visited her before she died. She had expressed her love for Charlie Carson, saying he was the better man, but she had been a fool not to know she loved him. Grigg is far more courteous and respectful than he was in his last encounter with Carson; he shakes his hand, desiring to part this time as friends.