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Thursday, October 29, 1998 Published at 00:30 GMT


Charles crowns party with cameo role

Tickertape showers the stars as they take the curtain call

The Prince of Wales made a surprise cameo appearance on stage at a Royal Gala to celebrate his 50th birthday.

BBC correspondent Louise Minchin reports from "what could be 1998's most glamorous party"
Prince Charles, who did a spot of acting in his university days, joined Stephen Fry and Roger Moore for a restaurant sketch at the Lyceum Theatre in London on Wednesday night.

In the skit a stream of lookalikes - including a bogus Madonna and a fake Humphrey Bogart - delivered food to a table where Fry sat with Moore.

[ image: Roger Moore proposed three cheers for the prince]
Roger Moore proposed three cheers for the prince
The former 007 actor, who had failed to recognise the waiters, was then approached by the prince, who said: "I recommend the organic vegetables and the Duchy Originals biscuits - they're damn good."

Playing the straight man

As the future King of England walked off Moore told Fry: "I know who he is supposed to be but he needs to work on the voice a little."

[ image: Geri Halliwell blows a kiss to Prince Charles]
Geri Halliwell blows a kiss to Prince Charles
Earlier former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell made her first solo singing performance at the birthday bash.

Halliwell, who recently signed a solo record deal, performed her own version of Happy Birthday in the style of Marilyn Monroe.

As well as performing her first solo song, Halliwell appeared throughout the comedy and entertainment spectacular.

Actress Samantha Janus explains why she signed up for the gala
Although she now sports a more demure look, she caused a stir by squeezing Charles's bottom when the Spice Girls met him earlier this year.

She quit the group in May and has since sold her Spice Girls outfits for charity.

Galaxy of stars

The former Ginger Spice was recently made a United Nations goodwill ambassador to promote education about Aids and contraception.

[ image: Spike Milligan: Charles's comedy hero also appeared]
Spike Milligan: Charles's comedy hero also appeared
Prince Charles's comedy hero, Spike Milligan, sent a recorded message to the theatre on video as his Goon character Eccles.

"You didn't invite me to your birthday party you swine," he joked, wearing a huge false nose.

Other celebrities at the Royal gala included Robbie Williams, Clive James and M People.

The proceeds from the gala tickets went to help the Prince's Trust's work with disadvantaged young people.

The show was filmed by Carlton for a two-hour special to be broadcast on ITV on the prince's birthday on 14 November.

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