Damian Lewis has been granted the freedom of the City of London in recognition of his achievements as an actor and admitted he was delighted to receive the honour.

Popular on LondonNet

The Homeland star was presented with the honour at a Guildhall ceremony held today.

As he collected his certificate, Lewis said: “It’s the most extraordinary honour to be offered the Freedom of the City of London – the city that I have grown up in, and love, more than any other.

“I’m very, very proud to be associated with it.”

The 42-year-old actor – who was born in St. John’s Wood – was accompanied by his actress wife Helen McCrory and explained his unique ties to the City to the gathered guests.

He added: “Four previous lord mayors were related to me – my great-great-grandfather, great-grandfather and a great-uncle, and my grandfather.

“They started out as girdlers. They’d probably be making Spanx now if they were around today!

“I feel like a Londoner through and through actually. London is the greatest city in the world, I think.”

The freedom of the City of London accolade is believed to have started in 1237 and meant the recipient were free to carry out their chosen trade.

The ancient tradition continues now to recognise individuals who have achieved great things in their chosen field.

In 2012, Lewis won the Best Actor in a Television Series Drama Emmy Award and the Golden Globe for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, for his role as Marine-turned-Congressman Nicholas Brody in acclaimed CIA series Homeland.