Amos plunges Harry into new race row

'You don't sound like a black chap...'

Stand-up Stephen K Amos has plunged Prince Harry into a new race controversy, after revealing that the young royal told him: ‘You don’t sound like a black chap.’

The comic said that the 24-year-old made the comment when they met in the line-up after the star-studded gig to celebrate Prince Charles’s 60th birthday in November.

Speaking on Five’s The Wright Stuff, he said: ‘Harry said, ‘Hello, tell me, amusing… but you don’t sound like a black chap.’

Fellow panellist Lowri Turner and presenter Matthew Wright sounded shocked, as Amos added: ‘I wanted to say, [putting on an urban street accent] ‘How is I supposed to sound?’”

Asked if the remark had been made in jest, he replied: ‘I hope it was,’ putting it down to an ill-judged attempt at banter

But the comment will not help Harry’s image after it was revealed that he described an Army comrade as ‘our little Paki friend’.

Not everyone was as forgiving as Amos. Former Commission for Racial Equality chairman Lord Herman Ouseley told the Daily Mirror: ‘It is very sad that Prince Harry thinks black people all talk in the same way.

A Palace spokeswoman refused to be drawn on the comment, saying: ‘We wouldn’t be able to confirm whether any private conversation did or did not take place.’

Amos has previously spoken of how Prince Philip jokingly told him he could have Lenny Henry killed to help his career. He met the Duke Of Edinburgh after a Royal Variety performance in which he had quipped that the BBC could only employ one black comedian at a time, so he would have to wait for Henry to die for his big chance. The Prince said: ‘So you’re the chap who wants Lenny Henry to die? That can be arranged…’

Published: 11 Feb 2009

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