The comedian sang England’s football anthem alongside fellow entertainer David Baddiel at the Royal Albert Hall last Thursday evening for the Royal Variety Performance, which is set to be televised on December 20. However, Mr Skinner has now said both Prince Edward and his wife, Sophie Wessex, didn’t hesitate to tell him they didn’t enjoy his performance after exchanging pleasantries backstage.
Mr Skinner recounted the conservation on his weekend Absolute Radio show, called ‘The Frank Skinner Show’, and said he had arrived at rehearsals for the Royal Variety Performance feeling unwell.
He said: “I was gradually getting more ill, and more ill, as the day went on. I was struggling. We were singing Three Lions. So I croaked my way through the dress rehearsal.
“And then, on the night, we did the show. I made Dave sound like Mario Lanza on the night. It actually hurt to sing it. Four minutes of hurt never stopped me singing. I was in physical pain.”
After the performance, Mr Skinner said that he met with both Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex, and said: “Sophie led the way, bearing in mind I’d had a really hard day and I battled on like a trooper. So she comes up and she says ‘Well, don’t give up your day job’.
“I thought ‘This is not how the royal walk thing works’. And we honestly said ‘Pardon?’ It’s supposed to be just banal compliments.”
It seems the conversation continued to take a dive from there, ad Mr Skinner recalled: “I said ‘Was it that bad?’ And she said: ‘Well, you know, I could tell, you know, it’s not what you do’.
“And I said ‘Erm, well, normally we’re like comics’. She said ‘Yeah, but you’re on screen aren’t you, you’re not used to a live crowd’.
“I said: ‘Well we’ve done a bit of live stuff you know, stand-up and stuff’. But she’s sticking with it and she said ‘Yeah, but you haven’t done anywhere the size of this’.
“I said ‘Look, I did the Palladium last Sunday’.
“She looked at me like ‘you’re not supposed to be arguing, I don’t think you’re supposed to be arguing with me, you’re supposed to just nod’. It was like a really awkward thing.”
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Mr Skinner said he thinks both Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex have been forced to take on a more senior and active within the Royal Family.
This may be because of the deaths of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, plus both Prince Andrew and Prince Harry no longer have active roles within the family.
The comedian said: “I think what’s happened is they don’t really do this stuff much, and they’ve (the royals) been reduced in numbers for various reasons, and so they’ve been pulled out to do this – and it’s a bit of a skill just talking to someone for 10 minutes and not upsetting them.”
Mr Skinner also recalled the awkwardness it was with Prince Edward and added: “There was a bit where it just died, the conversation – it never happens with the royals – it just like died.
“There was a moment where it was probably three seconds, but it felt like 10 minutes, he said ‘So, things are well?’ And I thought ‘No. Come on’. And in the end I started to think I wanted to put my arm round him a bit. I think it’s tough.”