back to article Prince Charles declines Doctor Who cameo

Doctor Who exec producer Russell T Davies has described Prince Charles in less than flattering terms for declining to make a cameo appearence in the hit BBC sci-fi show. Speaking at the Cheltenham Literature Festival yesterday, Davies told fans he'd written to Clarence House offering self-confessed Who fan Chaz a walk-on part …


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  1. graeme leggett Silver badge
    IT Angle

    Article title should have been....

    "Indifferent writer seeks publicity for book by inventing minor spat with notable figure"

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Oh course he turned it down. Doesn't help the firm's mystique to be seen as a common bit part player on the TV. Too much of that sort of stuff and the gaff is blown, and folk won't want to bow down and tug forelocks any more.

  3. Simon


    Tis a little harsh and unfair of Mr Davies to call the Heir to the throne such names, particularly when it was some lacky in a back office who made the unilateral decision for HRH.

    Maybe HRH reads ElReg and will correct the office-based simpleton and grace Dr Who with his august presence - and maybe put Mr Davies in the tower for a short cooling off period...

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Who does he think he is?

    Shock horror, the heir to the throne of the United Kingdoms of England of Scotland has declined a walk on part in a niche BBC production. Fair enough it's been going a while and Russell T Lady did a couple of good series before he ran out of ideas and actors but let's face it, it's hardly surprising that the future monarch and leader of the church of England does not have time to appear in kids shows (even if it is often watched by "grown ups").

    Russell T Lady is getting a bit full of himself and seems to actually believe all the nice things that the critics keep simpering at him. I am pleased that he brought the show back to our screens but now that's done can he please go away and leave the job to someone who is a good writer, has an imagination capable of coming up with something new after the second series and preferably is able to get through a series without shoehorning in some gratuitous gayness.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Spike Milligan

    It's worth remembering that Prince Charles was a fan and friend of Spike Milligan.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    state of the country

    A member of the monarchy refuses to do something demeaning, which in turn would demean the country they represent, and the daily fail* is up in arms demanding an explanation?

    Unfortunately, if the letter actually had reached the idiot he probably would have said yes!

    Say what you like about the US, but if Bush turned down a cameo on Stargate, I have a funny feeling newspapers would not write to him demanding an explanation.

    *from what i have seen of Russell T Davis so far, the filthy swine comment was clearly a joke, what's known in the trade as 'a bit of, good natured, ribbing'

  7. Craig

    Werewolf incident

    Anyone remember the ep where they suggest the royal family is descended from an alien which was essentially a sci fi werewolf? And that the genes would assert themselves fully around about, oh, now? After that I'm not hugely surprised.

  8. Master Baker

    A doctor who episode based on fact?

    Camp doctor faces the shape-shifting lizard people..... (at least according to David Icke)

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Who's a who?

    If a Star Trek afficiando is a trekkie is a Dr Who fan a Who'er?

  10. TeeCee Gold badge

    Oh, he'll appear all right.

    He's just waiting for the right part. When they re-introduce Meglos, he'll be right there.

  11. Vincent

    Russell T Davies

    I thought Russell T Davies quit doing Dr Who at the end of the last series?

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Re: Who does he think he is?

    "it's hardly surprising that the future monarch and leader of the church of England does not have time to appear in kids shows"

    No of course not, but highbrow entertainment such as Coronation Street is fine.

    I sense an underlying anit-gay tint in your post, what's wrong with a bit of gayness in the universe? Certainly adds an extra dimension to the show.

    Is it that you don't like his writing or the fact that he is gay?

  13. Lloyd


    I have a feeling it may have been a reference to the Spike Milligan calling HRH a little groveller, but then Spike was talented and Davies is a hack.

  14. Francis Vaughan

    Miserable swine

    Lordy, such short memories. Russell T is clearly also (mis)quoting Spike, and in a way that HRH (if, it seems, no one else) would understand. "Rotten swine" would be more accurate, but the sentiment is clear.

    Seems that adding the Goon Show to the UK school curriculum would be a good thing all round.

  15. Stuart Halliday

    What did he expect

    Oh come on it is very well known that Russell doesn't like Royalty in any form.

    So why not drum up a little bit of PR for the programme by announcing that the POW turned the cameo role down when it was 100% certain he (or any other royal member) would have and also give the Royals a little knock into the bargain.

    Russell is not daft...a tired writer but not stupid.

  16. Dave Bell

    Bad writer, no biscuit.

    OK, we maybe don't know just when it happened. But we can assume the letter declining the opportunity was, at least, polite.

    RTD is no gentleman.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Call off the revolution - by brijm

    I wouldn't panic - I suspect Mr Davies may have his tongue in his cheek here. Call off the revolution. Actually, the Dr Who team themselves have form on turning down legitimate offers of help. When Christopher Ecclestone suddenly resigned I wrote very generously to the Dr Who team offering to replace him. My terms were very reasonable: as I am actually a Dr I offered to do any first aid and as I am not an actor I have no pretensions about type-casting so could guarantee not to leave them in the lurch with a warehouse full of useless merchandising. I even included photos showing what I would look like fighting a dalek (actually showing me surrendering to a wok with a walking stick). I got no reply. And this is what your licence fee gets spent on.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm glad I'm not the only one ...

    ... happy at seeing RTD depart. The first couple of series were fine, but many of the later stories (and most of RTD's) were infantile crap - I seriously think they went from a time-constrained first draft directly to shooting with no review or editing at all. And I readily accept that RTD "started to believe his own press releases".

    I'm not surprised HRH turned him down, even if the decision was made for him. If he/they were to reply honestly, it might be along the lines of, "start writing good stories again and we might think about it".

  19. Anonymous Coward


    >(even if it is often watched by "grown ups").

    Hey! I resemble that remark.

    Then again, I do agree with the tone - Dr Who has always been SciFi for the younger amongst us but I still thoroughly enjoy it, old and new, despite having a mortgage, white hair and my own dependants to watch it with.

    Ok, so WingNut probably didn't even know that he'd been asked, but he couldn't possibly make himself look any worse than he did on that film where he was doing "Blubottle" impressions. Personally, I'd like to see him on the show. I think he should play himself, and get "dedded" by Republican Daleks.

  20. Anonymous Coward


    For a writer as militantly gay as T Davies to request Prince Charle's for a cameo suggests to me it's an in joke about a certain Clarence House rumour.

    But then again he could be doing his usual trick of completely disregarding all established rules of Doctor Who and ruining yet another story. I don't know how exactly involving Prince Charles, but I trust him implicitly to find a way to utterly ruin it somehow.

    Seriously - bring on Moffat. It will make a nice change to have plots that don't revolve around pathetic plot devices such as parallel universes to get around the established Who universe or everyone ringing the Doctor at the same time. *despair*

    Still my favourite Wikipedia page:

  21. Muscleguy
    Thumb Down

    Sense Reigned

    Thank goodness someone had some taste. Some of the episodes in the 'revival' of Dr Who have been reekingly redolent of the Bonnie Langtree era, Chuck would have been the low point by far.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bush turned down a cameo on Stargate

    What, he did that ?

    The miserable swine !

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Beyond the pale

    The significant difference, of course, is that Milligan was a personal friend of the Prince's - as well as having some of the license allowed to the court jesters of old. His comment was a bit OTT, but everyone could imagine HRH laughing it off so we did likewise.

    In general, it's rude to use such language about the heir to the throne. It's also very unwise, as the monarch is still our head of state and it's in all our interests to treat her - and her potential successors - with all reasonable deference and courtesy.

    Sorry if that sounds pompous and old-fashioned. But it has the merit of being right.

  24. George
    IT Angle

    I agree with Graeme Leggett

    I mean did he really think that a leading prominent member of the Royal family would appear in some silly BBC science fiction programme.

    Or did he send the request for this very purpose.

  25. James

    Pass the Very Small Teacup ...

    ... so I can create a miniscule storm.

  26. anarchic-teapot

    He doesn't know his classics

    It's "dirty rotten swine", preferably in a prepubic nasal squeal.

    I second the motion to have The Goon Show taught as part of the school curriculum, though how teachers would render the sundry noises and explosions that accompanied Major Bloodnok's every move intrigues me no end.

    Famous Eccles icon, please

  27. Andy Taylor

    It's Trekker

    Star Trek fans are Trekkers - there's a difference:

    Trekkers wonder what sex is like in outer space.

    Trekkies wonder what sex is like.

  28. Mark

    re: Re: Who does he think he is?

    Did you pull that "gay" thing out of your arse???

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gayness and Dr Who

    Gay romantic attachments have as much place in Dr Who as straight romantic attachments, which is to say: mostly none. It r not soap. Or at least it didn't orter be. Hmph.

  30. NT

    @ AC (10:25)

    << I am pleased that he brought the show back to our screens but now that's done can he please go away and leave the job to someone who is a good writer, has an imagination capable of coming up with something new after the second series and preferably is able to get through a series without shoehorning in some gratuitous gayness. >>

    Agreed. Davies has done a great job in getting Who back on our screens. The new cast have done a great job in giving us characters worth watching. But the *stories*, my gods... Aside the notable few ("Blink"; "The Empty Child"; "The Girl in the Fireplace"), the plotlines have been incredibly weak. "Fear Her" was absolutely woeful; "Idiot's Lantern", terrible; "Love & Monsters" - the less said the better.

    I'm not one of these people who demand a return to the 'old' Doctor Who, because I know that that came up with some real turkeys, too. But while Davies has a lot going for him as a promoter and a 're-imaginer', he really needs to leave it to other people to actually come up with the storylines. I'm a big fan of Who - the concept, David Tennant and (ahem) Billie Piper, too - but I swear if I never see another Shock Return Of The Daleks it'll be a millennium too soon.

    It's subjective, I know, but in my book the best Who storylines - old and new - have been those that've dealt with the Big Questions and have tended to be a bit more metaphysical. There's so much you could do with this idea of a time-travelling near-god, apparently so free but so tortured; so constrained by his morality; and perhaps bound into a destiny of sorts... Such opportunities there for storytelling - yet all we've got is clunky Cybermen, annoying kids, implausible deus-ex-machina wrap-ups, and all the sex we can, um, eat.

    I know Who is a kids' show - but it didn't *have* to be. Most of its original fans were grown-ups when Davies had his Big Idea. It wouldn't have hurt to aim it at an older audience - it would've spared us Torchwood, if nothing else. (Which itself would have been great if it'd taken a few lessons from the reimagined Battlestar Galactica about what 'grown-up sci-fi' looks like. Hint: it's more than just lots of sex.)

    The topic? Oh, sorry. No, I think HRH is wise to stay out of it - or to take his staff members' advice and give this one a miss, at least for the moment.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    He should ask John McCain

    ...should have plenty of free time coming up... I dunno... around November fifth, I guess?

  32. Dr Patrick J R Harkin

    We need pronunciation icons!

    Ih he said <Bluebottle>The rotten swine!</Bluebottle> it's a completely different interpretation.

    But obviously our glorious blue-blooded nobility would never lower themselves to participate in entertainment <cough>Royal It's A Knockout</cough>

  33. Morrie Wyatt

    Spike was also a Dr. Who fan

    Am I the only one who remembers he Pakastani Dalek?

    "Put him in the curry!"

  34. Glenn Charles
    Paris Hilton

    Bush appearing on Star Trek

    God, what are you trying to do to us Americans? voodoo us, or something? Of course, he could be the buffoon. Oops, I'm being unfair. Besides, I am seeking VA compensation...


    [she's proud of him]

  35. RogueElement
    Thumb Up

    after Andy Taylor (Trekker not Trekkie)

    cool - so the Dr Who fans must be Hookers... you still drummin' with the Police mate?

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