Prince Philip is a big fan of the classic BBC comedy The Royle Family – according to one of the stars of the show.

Ricky Tomlinson played Jim Royle in the BBC show, which ran for 25 episodes between 1998 and 2012.

And now the 80-year-old actor says the show has a royal seal of approval, claiming that Her Majesty The Queen herself let slip that husband, 99-year-old Prince Philip, is a fan of the show.

Ricky was told by a look-a-like named Will Williams that the Queen had told him that the Duke of Edinburgh enjoyed watching the show.

Ricky Tomlinson claims The Queen revealed Prince Philip watches the show

The comedy star shared the news while in conversation with fellow Royle Family cast member Ralf Little on new Gold show, Ricky and Ralf’s Very Northern Road Trip.

Ricky said: “I told you about my lookalike, his name’s Will and he’s from mid-Wales.

"He does a lot of charity work and he got a ­medal in Caernarfon Castle off the Queen.

"And as she’s putting the medal on his coat, or whatever it is, she’s said to him, ‘I don’t watch your programme, but my husband loves it’."

Ricky Tomlinson
Left-wing actor Ricky played Jim Royle on the smash-hit BBC show

Will has raised thousands of pounds for charities in Wales by cashing in on his likeness for Ricky.

Former Caernarfon mayor Hywel Roberts had previously claimed The Queen had discussed The Royle Family at an event attended by Will.

Hywel claims: "I explained that he was a lookalike for a famous TV actor and I said, ‘He ­appears in a programme called The Royle Family’.

"And she said, ‘Oh, is it about a man in a vest sitting on a settee?’

The Queen
There have been previous claims that the Queen herself watched 'one' episode

"Then Will said, ‘Oh, you watch it, Your Majesty?’ And she very quickly said, ‘I’ve seen it… once’."

Fellow Royle Family star Sue Johnston, 76, has cast doubt on whether the Royal family would watch her classic comedy.

She said: "I doubt she watches it… I bet William and Harry do though. But I don’t think it would be quite her thing."