Page last updated at 13:55 GMT, Sunday, 9 November 2008

Surprise turn from Robin Williams

Robin Williams on stage at the LSE
The comedian's appearance was a closely-guarded secret

Robin Williams has returned to the London stage for the first time in 25 years, performing a surprise stand-up set at the London School of Economics.

The comedian appeared in front of an intimate crowd of just 100 people on Saturday night.

He was the special guest at The Chuckle Club, LSE's long-running comedy night. Visitors paid just 12 to see the star.

The US comedian was appearing ahead of his sell-out nights at the Gielgud Theatre in aid of The Prince's Trust.

Host Paul Jay, who goes under the name of Eugene Cheese for the night, could not believe his luck in securing the star.

'Comedy idol'

"It was the thrill of my life to have Robin Williams," he said.

Williams said: "This is a great club. It's like a classroom with comedy in it."

Spectator Peter Bowles, 28, said: "We knew there were rumours that a big-name act was coming on, but to be honest I thought it might be someone like Jonathan Ross - after all he's got a bit of time on his hands at the moment.

"I just couldn't believe it when Robin Williams walked on. He's always been a comedy idol of mine and to see him at such close range was something special."

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