Exterminate! Prince of Wales impresses Steven Moffat with Dalek impression at Doctor Who studio
Wednesday 03 July 2013
Doctor Who has a new adversary of royal proportions - after the Prince of Wales lent his voice to one of the Daleks.
Charles tried his hand at being a sci-fi baddie during a visit to the BBC's studios in Cardiff today.
Using a microphone plugged into a voice modulator, he uttered the Daleks' famous "exterminate" catchphrase - leaving the show's writer Steven Moffat thoroughly impressed.
He said: "I haven't thought about how I could weave a meeting between the Doctor and the royal family. But Prince Charles's attempt at being a Dalek was great.
"There would be a part in the show for him if he wanted it."
According to actor Matt Smith, who is due to stand down as the current Doctor, the Prince has been a secret fan of the show since he was 15.
Smith and co-star Jenna-Louise Coleman gave the future king and his wife Camilla a tour of the show's set in Cardiff.
As well as getting to grips with a sonic screwdriver, the Prince stepped inside the famous Tardis.
The qualified helicopter pilot got to grips with its controls, while the Duchess of Cornwall pulled a lever to activate it.
Smith said: "The Prince was lovely and a charming bloke.
"He took quite an interest in the Tardis' controls and asked a lot of questions about it.
"He told me and Jenna that he'd been a big fan of the show since he was 15 - which we didn't know.
"The other thing which stood out for me is he had fantastic shoes.
Smith joked: "He's got the makings of a future Doctor!"
Also giving the Prince the thumbs up was actor and sound technician Nicholas Briggs, who voices the Daleks.
The Lyndhurst-born performer, who began practising Dalek voices at the age of five, said: "The Prince has got a history of performing and has done stuff with The Goon Show previously, so he really stepped up to the plate.
"Apart from a couple of giggles at the end, he did really good."
The royal couple were also shown around the props department, chatting with set decorator Adrian Anscombe, who handed the Prince a sonic screwdriver.
"He got it to work first time, which doesn't usually happen," he said.
"As it's a custom-built prop it can take a bit of getting used to but the Prince has the knack."
Charles also came face-to-face with some of the show's other famous monsters - such as a Cyberman and a weeping angel.
Following the visit - which had BBC staff and journalists chuckling throughout - the Prince then toured the new headquarters of his charity Prince's Trust Cymru and met with volunteers and youngsters.
A Clarence House spokeswoman said Charles was very passionate about the organisation.
"The new Prince's Trust Cymru headquarters will support 3,500 vulnerable young people across Wales this year, giving them the skills and confidence to turn their lives around and move into jobs.
"It's significant because in Cardiff alone, more than one in four young people (30%) are struggling to find a job (Office for National Statistics).
"The Prince's Trust Enterprise programme is celebrating its 30th birthday this year. It has helped 80,000 young people become their own boss since 1983.
"It's worth noting that three in four young people on Prince's Trust programmes move into work, education or training."
During the official opening, Charles addressed young people, staff, volunteers and supporters of The Prince's Trust.
He said: "I hope some of you here today are beginning to benefit in a small way and I am also incredibly proud of the difference the Trust can make to so many lives."
One of the young people who met the Prince was 27-year-old Sarah Hillier, from Pontypool.
She is about to launch a custom-made teddy bear business with support from the Trust.
She presented Charles with a bear created for his soon-to-be-born grandchild.
Mrs Hillier decided she wanted to run her own business after running a successful cafeteria at her partner's workplace.
She had to leave when her husband was made redundant and she found herself unemployed.
But her entrepreneurial spirit meant she was determined to find an idea that would work, and then her nine-year-old daughter gave her just that - custom made teddy bears.
Describing the bear she created for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's baby, she said: "The bear is one of my favourite designs and I have chosen a soldier's outfit for it. I just hope this little bear is fit for a prince - or a princess!"
The charitable theme also continued for Camilla - who earlier in the week threw a tea party for seriously ill children - as she visited the Emmaus Charity shop in Porthcawl, Bridgend.
It supports homeless people by giving them accommodation and work experience in a bid to turn their lives around.
And after freely chatting with service users, Camilla then paid a visit to Cowbridge Physic Garden Trust.
A Royal spokeswoman added: "The tradition of physic gardens stretches back a number of centuries. Known originally as "apothecaries gardens", many monasteries and large estate mansions had physic gardens where plants were grown for cooking, healing and dyeing wool and fabric. They were also known as kitchen gardens or potagers."
Later in the afternoon rural champion Charles met staff and local farmers during a visit to the Farmers' Co-operative Shop in Treharris, Merthyr Tydfil. The collective, known as Cig Mynydd Cymru (Welsh Mountain Meat), specialises in the Welsh Black beef from cattle raised on the members' farms & South Wales Mountain lambs.
And completing an action packed day, the Prince headed to Ebbw Vale - where the Queen was met with a rapturous welcome during her Jubilee tour last year.
He paid a visit to the offices of education charity Teach First, of whom he is a patron. Teach First, which launches in Wales in in September, aims to increase the number of teachers from less well off backgrounds.
It has been given a three year contract by the Welsh Government and officials hope it will see 150 trainee teachers recruited on to the programme.
The Royals' tour of Wales continues tomorrow - with Camilla taking the lead with the day's engagements in Swansea.
The couple spend one week in July every year in he principality since 2008, which sees them stay at their holiday home Llwynywermod in Myddfai, near Llandovery, Carmarthenshire.
Town council member Nigel Burgess said locals now viewed the Prince as of one of their own.
"It's not only put us and local good causes on the map, but it's given us a tremendous sense of pride," he added.
"It means all the more because this is supposed to be the Prince's holiday - but he's never put his feet up and locked himself in his holiday home.
"He's always got involved."
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