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December 10, 2015 02:30 PM

What Sir Patrick Stewart thought was an unsettling shriek from his wife in the other room was actually a cheer of joy after Stewart’s wife Sunny learned he’d been nominated for a best actor Golden Globe for bawdy Starz sitcom Blunt Talk.

“I’m on vacation in Jamaica, and I was up early this morning reading The Guardian newspaper on my iPad, and I’m thinking that the announcements are not going to be made for another two hours when suddenly I heard this howl from the bedroom where my wife, I thought, was sleeping,” Stewart told PEOPLE on Thurday. “And I rushed in because she’s terrified of spiders so I thought a tarantula climbed into bed with her or something – no, she was already online looking at the announcements and the nominations.”

With no spiders in sight, the news turned out to be doubly exciting, says the actor.

“First of all, I was reassured she wasn’t being eaten by something – and she had this wonderful news that I wasn’t expecting, if it came at all, for another two hours so it was a very nice start to my day.”

To celebrate, Stewart said they toasted at breakfast with a glass of champagne and will likely continue the celebration at dinner. And, as of press time, he apparently continued at lunch, as well!

“It’s very, very satisfying and delightful especially with a brand-new show that is a little bit challenging in its content and was, for me, a first time,” says Stewart, 75. “I’ve never worked in a ‘haha’ comedy show except as a guest, but to be the central character week after week was an entirely new departure for me, and I loved every moment of it so I’m delighted to see the show – it’s the show I think about when something like this happens – it should be recognized in this way.”

Stewart says he is also excited for the fellow nominees in his category – Aziz Ansari, Gael Garcéa Bernal, Rob Lowe and incumbent winner Jeffrey Tambor.

“These are all brilliant actors, and I feel truly honored to be sharing this nomination with them but then there are a number of my fellow country people who are nominated too and that will be one of the delightful things about the event,” he says. “I should be running into dear old friends who I may not have seen for a long time.”

The 73rd annual Golden Globes Awards will be broadcast live Jan. 10 on NBC.

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