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Prince William Zoom call with Stephen Fry as Lord Melchett in Big Night In TV fundraiser

Stephen Fry reprised his iconic role as Lord Melchett to take a Zoom call with Prince William in a hilarious Blackadder sketch for The Big Night In coronavirus fundraiser.

Melchett paced around his office impatiently waiting for the Duke to call in, quipping: ‘I thought Germans were meant to be punctual’. 

Apologising, William said Zoom was ‘complicated stuff’, later revealing homeschooling Prince George, Prince Louis and Princess Charlotte is proving a ‘bit of a nightmare’ in lockdown. 

The Duke said he is struggling to cope with not being able to watch EastEnders, but refused the Blackadder star’s recommendation of trying Netflix sensation Tiger King instead, adding: ‘I tend to avoid shows about royalty.’  

As their virtual exchange drew to a close, Melchett reminded William to go out and clap for the NHS at 8pm, before William joked about not wearing any trousers. The show then cut to the Cambridges clapping on their doorstep as part of the weekly show of gratitude for health and social care workers. 

Tonight’s Big Night In raised a staggering £27,398,675 for charity, with the Government offering to double it and take the total to nearly £60million.  

  

Stephen Fry (pictured in the top right hand corner of the laptop screen) reprised his role as Melchett in Blackadder to take a Zoom call with Prince William (main) 

Stephen Fry is pictured in his Blackadder role as Melchett on a Zoom call to Prince William

The Duke of Cambridge appeared on Zoom to Fry's character just before the NHS clap at 8pm

Stephen Fry (left) is pictured in his Blackadder role as Melchett on a Zoom call to Prince William (right)

The Duke of Cambridge then joined wife Kate and children George, Charlotte and Louis to clap for the NHS when the clock struck 8pm

The Duke of Cambridge then joined wife Kate and children George, Charlotte and Louis to clap for the NHS when the clock struck 8pm

Stephen Fry went out on his doorstep to clap for the NHS at 8pm after his call with Prince William

Stephen Fry went out on his doorstep to clap for the NHS at 8pm after his call with Prince William

William’s hilarious cameo alongside Stephen Fry was filmed at his Norfolk home, Anmer Hall, and kept under wraps until it aired, with only a handful of BBC staff and royal aides allowed in the loop.

The last time a member of the Royal Family appeared in a television skit was when the Queen memorably took part in a parachuting sketch with James Bond actor Daniel Craig for the opening of the London 2012 Olympics.

The Prince is understood to have been approached only days ago and did not hesitate to agree when asked if he would take part – although it is known he was slightly concerned about his lack of acting experience. 

While his father Prince Charles and uncle Prince Edward were keen thespians in their youth, William has never really trodden the boards. 

The Duke is, however, a big fan of Blackadder – the comedy romp through history that also starred Rowan Atkinson and Sir Tony Robinson – and was keen to take part in the sketch when asked by the BBC. 

Love Actually director Richard Curtis, who co-wrote the hit series with Ben Elton, penned the pre-recorded skit that ran for almost two minutes. 

As the Prince struggled to get to grips with the technology, Melchett said under his breath: ‘Oh come on, even five-year-olds have mastered Zoom.’

When they were finally connected Melchett explained he was self-isolating with Blackadder and Baldrick.

He offered to help with the royals’ homeschooling programme, saying: ‘Well I’d be delighted to help if I can, what subjects are on the curriculum?’ 

Stephen Fry is pictured on Zoom playing his Blackadder character Lord Melchett

Stephen Fry is pictured on Zoom playing his Blackadder character Lord Melchett

The Blackadder sketch was widely praised by viewers on social media

The Blackadder sketch was widely praised by viewers on social media 

Prince William’s Zoom call with Stephen Fry as Blackadder’s Lord Melchett in full  

Sketch opens with Stephen Fry, pacing up and down in his library, captioned: Lord Melchett, Head of the Royal Household, Melchett Manor.

He is tutting and muttering ‘Come along… oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.’

Fry, turning to his laptop: ‘Come on you lot. I thought Germans were meant to be punctual.’

William clears his throat.

‘I’m here Melchett.’

‘Ah, Your Royal Highness, very good to see you Sir.’

The computer clicks off.

‘Come on, even five-year-olds have mastered Zoom,’ Fry sighs.

William pops back up. ‘Sorry about that. Complicated stuff Zoom.’ ‘Isn’t it,’ Fry says smarmily.

‘How are you Melchy? Have you been self-isolating?’

Stephen Fry is pictured playing the role of Lord Melchett from Blackadder as he logs in to Zoom Prince William at home in Norfolk

Stephen Fry is pictured playing the role of Lord Melchett from Blackadder as he logs in to Zoom Prince William at home in Norfolk 

‘Yes I’m here with my old friend Lord Blackadder,’ he replies. ‘Our grandfathers fought together. Constantly, I’m told.’

William asks: ‘Just the two of you?’

Fry: ‘Well no, he brought along a curious little fellow called Baldrick who smells of turnips. How’s the home schooling going?’

‘It’s a bit of a nightmare really,’ William replies.

‘Well I’ll be delighted to help if I can,’ says Fry. ‘Um, what subjects are on the curriculum?’

‘Spelling,’ says William.

‘Well I could probably help with that. I could do most words from cat to contrafibularities.’

‘What about history?’ asks William.

‘Well I’m not too bad on kings and queens, but then I am guessing that may also be your strong point,’ Fry says.

‘You’d think so, wouldn’t you,’ laughs William. ‘How’s your French?’

Fry says in French, with subtitles: ‘I hope I’ve got a smattering of the colloquial and the classical.’

Prince William is pictured on the other end of the Zoom call to Stephen Fry's iconic Blackadder character on The Big Night In

Prince William is pictured on the other end of the Zoom call to Stephen Fry’s iconic Blackadder character on The Big Night In 

William laughs: ‘I literally have no idea what you are talking about.’

‘Happy to serve, Sir,’ Fry says, ‘and to return to the matter in hand, this is your 60-second warning.’

William replies: ‘I’ll go and get the family together.’

‘Excellent.’

William adds: ‘By the way, have you seen anything good on TV? It’s hell without EastEnders.’

‘Isn’t it?’ says Fry. ‘They tell me [Netflix series] Tiger King is rather good.’

‘Yes I tend to avoid shows about royalty,’ William deadpans.

‘And that’s now 45 seconds and counting. I think our time is up,’ says Fry.

‘On my way, let me just find my socks. And my shoes,’ says William, before looking down and adding sheepishly: ‘And my trousers.’

He then waves and turns off the computer.

‘Excellent, job diddly done, done, done,’ says Fry, to the strains of Coldplay’s Paradise.

After their virtual exchange, William and his family then go out of their home, Anmer Hall in Norfolk, to clap for the NHS at 8pm, with Princess Charlotte excitedly applauding as soon as she sets foot outside.

William asked: ‘What about history?’, to which Melchett replied: ‘Well I’m not too bad on kings and queens, but then I’m guessing that might also be your strong point.’

Pointing out there was just one minute to go until the weekly 8pm ‘Clap for carers’, William said: ‘Thanks very much, I’ll go and get the family together.’

Joking he wasn’t wearing any trousers, he added: ‘Let me just find my socks. And my shoes. And my trousers.’

Before he logged off he asked: ‘By the way have you seen anything good on TV? It’s hell without EastEnders.’

Melchett replied: ‘I’ve heard Tiger King is quite good,’ but the Prince said: ‘I tend to avoid show about royalty.’

William’s comedy turn seemed to go down well, with social media users rushing to praise him.

‘It was brilliant and what a great bonus to get the whole family!’ one said immediately afterwards.

Another commented: ‘Did not expect that! What a good sport.’ Others described the prince’s appearance as ‘hilarious’.

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall were also featured in a video posted on their official Twitter account clapping for carers outside the front door of their Scottish home Birkhall. 

Hosts Sir Lenny Henry, Davina McCall and Matt Baker are pictured six feet apart inside The One Show studio to kick off The Big Night In

Hosts Sir Lenny Henry, Davina McCall and Matt Baker are pictured six feet apart inside The One Show studio to kick off The Big Night In 

Comedian Peter Kay also made his first TV appearance in two years on the show, with viewers expressing concern he ‘looked ill’. 

The star, 46, appeared on the BBC One show in a pre-recorded clip from his Bolton home to introduce a new version of his classic Comic Relief track Is This The Way to Amarillo. But fans claimed he looked ‘far from 100 per cent’, despite his colourful shirt, sunhat and sunglasses. 

Kay cancelled a tour in 2017 and has rarely been seen in public since. He was last on TV in 2018 when he appeared in two special episodes of Car Share. 

One Twitter user said of his first TV appearance in two years: ‘Loved seeing @peterkay_co_uk on #BigNightIn but very concerned he didn’t look or sound ‘right’ hope he’s ok.’

Someone else wrote: ‘Peter Kay didn’t look or sound well on the Tele then didn’t he. Sad to see! #BigNightIn’

Viewers took to Twitter to share their concerns over the 46-year-old comedian and his appearance on the BBC One show

Viewers took to Twitter to share their concerns over the 46-year-old comedian and his appearance on the BBC One show 

Another fan commented: ‘Great to see Peter Kay, although the legend is obviously far from 100%. Whatever he’s battling,I and I’m sure the rest of the country wish him to get well very soon! God bless.’ 

Someone else asked: ‘Anyone else worried about Peter Kay. Great to see him, but something didn’t seem right #BigNightIn.’ 

NHS, BBC One, Children in Need and Comic Relief decided to put on the TV fundraiser to lift the nation’s spirits and collect money for those made most vulnerable by the coronavirus outbreak. 

The show was presented live from The One Show studio in London by Sir Lenny Henry, Davina McCall, Matt Baker and Paddy McGuinness.   

The hosts kicked off the programme by assuring viewers they and all their crew are observing social distancing. 

Tonight’s line-up included musical performances by the likes of Sam Smith, Liam Payne and Rita Ora and comedy sketches from Miranda Hart and Little Britain stars David Walliams and Matt Lucas.

World boxing champion Anthony Joshua appeared in a Bad Education skit with Jack Whitehall

World boxing champion Anthony Joshua appeared in a Bad Education skit with Jack Whitehall

Playing his Bad Education character Alfie Wickers, Jack Whitehall asked Joshua for PE advice

Playing his Bad Education character Alfie Wickers, Jack Whitehall asked Joshua for PE advice

David Tennant played the role of the teacher in Catherine Tate's 'Am I bothered' sketch

David Tennant played the role of the teacher in Catherine Tate’s ‘Am I bothered’ sketch

Catherine Tate is pictured as her iconic character Lauren in a classic 'Am I bothered' sketch

Catherine Tate is pictured as her iconic character Lauren in a classic ‘Am I bothered’ sketch 

Kicking off the programme at 7pm Sir Lenny said: ‘It’s 7 O’Clock on Thursday, or is it Sunday? Who knows anymore, I’m just glad to be wearing trousers.’ 

Asked why Children In Need mascot Pudsey Bear was absent, he joked he had been ‘furloughed’.  

While his co-host Davina McCall told viewers: ‘Put down that banana bread, stop that online quiz, and prepare to be entertained.  

Viewers donated to help support vulnerable people of all ages and backgrounds across the UK who will be significantly impacted by the crisis.

Miranda Hart is pictured waiting for a Zoom call from her friends Stevie and Gary

Miranda Hart is pictured waiting for a Zoom call from her friends Stevie and Gary 

Little Britain star and Britain's Got Talent presenter David Walliams appealed to viewers

Little Britain star and Britain’s Got Talent presenter David Walliams appealed to viewers 

Dawn French appeared as the Vicar of Dibley's Geraldine Granger on tonight's show

Dawn French appeared as the Vicar of Dibley’s Geraldine Granger on tonight’s show 

BBC Radio 1 host Greg James is seen on tonight's Big Night In

BBC Radio 1 host Greg James is seen on tonight’s Big Night In 

YouTube star Joe Suggs and his girlfriend Dianne Buswell also appeared on the show to stage a haircut live on TV

YouTube star Joe Suggs and his girlfriend Dianne Buswell also appeared on the show to stage a haircut live on TV 

Funds raised tonight will be split equally between BBC Children in Need and Comic Relief to provide essential support to local charities, projects and programmes across the UK to help those most in need.  

Chancellor Rishi Sunak, announced last week that the UK Treasury would match pound for pound any contributions the public raise on the show. 

He said in a clip recorded for the show: ‘Hi everyone, I know these are difficult times. Look we’re all worried, worried about our health, our friends our family.

‘But I also think we will look back and remember that at this time of crisis that we came together as a country.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak (pictured live from his home this evening) announced last week that the UK Treasury would match pound for pound any contributions the public raise on the show

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak (pictured live from his home this evening) announced last week that the UK Treasury would match pound for pound any contributions the public raise on the show

‘We were there for each other and that’s what the Big Night In is all about, I am so grateful to everyone who has donated tonight and don’t forget that the government has pledged to match every pound you donate so please do give generously.

‘After all, what better way to mark four weeks of staying in and watching TV than well… staying in and watching TV. Enjoy the rest of the show and stay safe.’

Davina added that the first £20million of the matched money will go to the National Emergencies Trust that was launched by Prince William to help people all across the UK affected by the pandemic.

All matched funding after this amount will go to Children In and Comic Relief, she added.

The Big Night In host Sir Lenny Henry is pictured kicking off tonight's show live from London

The Big Night In host Sir Lenny Henry is pictured kicking off tonight’s show live from London 

The show is being presented live from the One Show studio in London by Lenny Henry, Davina McCall (pictured), Matt Baker and Paddy McGuinness

The show is being presented live from the One Show studio in London by Lenny Henry, Davina McCall (pictured), Matt Baker and Paddy McGuinness

Paddy McGuinness joined later in the show to help with presenting duties

Paddy McGuinness joined later in the show to help with presenting duties 

Host Matt Baker is seen beside a screen telling viewers how they can donate

Host Matt Baker is seen beside a screen telling viewers how they can donate 

Tonight's line-up includes the casts of Little Britain, EastEnders, Doctor Who and singers Rita Ora, Chris Martin from Coldplay and Liam Payne

Tonight’s line-up includes the casts of Little Britain, EastEnders, Doctor Who and singers Rita Ora, Chris Martin from Coldplay and Liam Payne 

‘Dishy Rishi’ Sunak wows viewers as he appears on BBC’s Big Night In fundraiser to announce Government pledge to match all donations 

By William Cole for MailOnline

Rishi Sunak became an unlikely star of the BBC’s Big Night In fundraising special as he announced the Government’s pledge to match every donation raised tonight.

The Chancellor, speaking from his Downing Street home, told viewers that we would remember how ‘we came together as a country’ in the fight against the coronavirus.

He announced that the Government would be matching donations like-for-like, with the first £20 million going to the National Emergencies Trust.

‘Hi everyone, I know these are difficult times,’ said Mr Sunak. ‘Look we’re all worried, worried about our health, our friends our family.

‘But I also think we will look back and remember that at this time of crisis that we came together as a country.

Rishi Sunak became an unlikely star of the BBC's Big Night In fundraising special as he announced the Government's pledge to match every donation raised tonight

Rishi Sunak became an unlikely star of the BBC’s Big Night In fundraising special as he announced the Government’s pledge to match every donation raised tonight

‘We were there for each other and that’s what the Big Night In is all about, I am so grateful to everyone who has donated tonight and don’t forget that the government has pledged to match every pound you donate so please do give generously.

‘After all, what better way to mark four weeks of staying in and watching TV than well… staying in and watching TV. Enjoy the rest of the show and stay safe.’

Viewers were quick to praise the Treasury boss for the short appearance, notably wearing a casual pair of jeans and a top rather than the ‘politician’s’ suit.

BBC Radio 2 presenter Jeremy Vine said: ‘Probably the least pompous TV appearance by a Chancellor of the Exchequer in history. #BigNightIn.’

Stephen Canning added: ‘B****y good look having Rishi Sunak on the Big Night In dressed like his normal self, rather than a politician, and pledging to match the funds.’ 

Mr Sunak has been seen as a potential future Prime Minister after being parachuted in to the position of Chancellor after predecessor Sajid Javid quit rather than fire his own staff. 

An exclusive poll for The Mail on Sunday found that he was the choice of voters to run the country if Boris Johnson became too ill, taken before the PM went into St Thomas’ ICU earlier this month.

While Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has taken the reins while Mr Johnson is incapacitated, the Deltapoll survey shows that Mr Sunak – dubbed ‘dishy Rishi’ by his Treasury colleagues – is backed as a stand-in premier by more than three times as many voters.

The government have confirmed they will match pound for pound ‘everything’ raised on the night.

The first £20million of the matched money will go to the National Emergencies Trust that was launched by the Duke of Cambridge to help people all across the UK affected by the pandemic.

All matched funding after this amount will go to Children In and Comic Relief.

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk