Comic arrested at Wills party

'Terrorist' stormed Royal stage

'Comedy Terrorist' Aaron Barschak has prompted a full-scale security alert after gatecrashing Prince William's 21st birthday party.

Home Secretary David Blunkett has ordered an immediate inquiry after the comic stormed the stage at Windsor Castle.

The 36-year-old, from Dulwich, South London, was arrested and taken into police custody. He has now been bailed to return to a London police station next month.

Earlier, crowds who had gathered outside the castle gates cheered as Barschak - wearing his stage outfit of Osama Bin Laden beard and party frock - arrived for the party. Police moved him on, but he later gained access to the party itself

The Metropolitan police say a "thorough review of the circumstances" is now under way.

Barschak has a history of invading high-profile events, but this is his most audacious stunt yet.

He has previously interrupted a televised tribute concert to Spike Milligan, harangued Ken Livingstone at a public meeting and been banned from every football ground in the country after running on the pitch.

Only last month, he interrupted Graham Norton as he closed the London Comedy Festival, and, in a separate incident, harged with throwing paint at an exhibition by Turner Prize-nominated artists Jake and Dinos Chapman.

He reportedly stumbled onto the stage last night as Prince William made a speech thanking Prince Charles and the Queen for organising the party, seizing the microphone

After Barschak was taken away, William was said to have attempted to lighten the mood by joking: "I didn't know my brother could do an accent like that."

As he was driven away from the castle in handcuffs, Barschak was seen clutching a book about Bin Laden.

His father, Fred, later told reporters: "I can believe it was him. He would not have been trying to harm anyone, not at all. He is actually not at all anti-royal. He is a professional stand-up comedian who is desperate to be a serious actor."

The incident will no doubt provide material for Barschak's hour-long show, Osama Like It Hot, which he is premiering at the Edinburgh Festival.

The 300 guests at last night's Africa-themed bash included Rowan Atkinson and Tara Palmer Tomkinson, as well as all the senior members of the Royal Family.

Published: 22 Jun 2003

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