The Royle Family star Ralf Little reveals the Queen and Prince Harry were fans

‘They watched it all the time’: The Royle Family star Ralf Little reveals the Queen and Prince Harry were big fans of the iconic sitcom

The late Queen and Prince Harry were big fans of The Royle Family and watched it together ‘all the time’, according to star Ralf Little.

Ralf, 42, played Antony in the 90s sitcom, which ran on the BBC for three series from 1998 to 2000, followed by a series of specials from 2006 to 2012.

But now, the Death In Paradise star has recalled a time when one of Prince Harry’s friends told him that the royal pair enjoyed the show. 

Special times: The late Queen and Prince Harry were big fans of The Royle Family and watched it together ‘all the time’, according to star Ralf Little (the pair are pictured in 2019)

He said: ‘Years ago, I happened to be at a party where Prince Harry was. I got talking to a lot of Harry’s mates and one of them was like, “All of us love The Royle Family.” I went, “Even the big man?”

‘He went, “Loves it. Him and his gran watch it all the time.”‘

Ralf continued: ‘Maybe it’s not true but I like to believe it is. It went from being this maybe being a Northern thing, to maybe it’s a working class thing, to apparently the Queen watching it.’

The show starred Ricky Tomlinson as Antony’s dad Jim and Sue Johnston as mum Barbara. 

90s hit: Ralf, 42, played Antony in the 90s sitcom which ran on the BBC for three series from 1998 to 2000, and specials from 2006 to 2012

90s hit: Ralf, 42, played Antony in the 90s sitcom which ran on the BBC for three series from 1998 to 2000, and specials from 2006 to 2012

It centred on the lives of a television-fixated Manchester family and showed a comic portrayal of working-class family life at the turn of the millennium.

Speaking on the White Wine Question Time podcast, Ralf said: ‘We genuinely believed that we had something special, we felt it was working and that people should love this.

‘It’s always a difficult thing, I’ve also been in shows where you think, “This is great,” because we’re all making the crew laugh, we’re making each other laugh so much and you think this is gonna be great because if we love it so much then everyone else is going to, and then no one watches it, no one gives a s**t.

‘But sometimes you can just feel a bit of magic happening. We were tentatively hopeful.

Anecdotes: Now, the Death In Paradise star has recalled a time when one of Prince Harry's friends told him that the royal pair enjoyed the show

Anecdotes: Now, the Death In Paradise star has recalled a time when one of Prince Harry’s friends told him that the royal pair enjoyed the show

‘We sort of hoped and figured that it might be a success up North because it would be so familiar. Then, we were surprised that it was a success down South as well. 

‘And then we thought, “Well maybe it’s just a working class connection?” Then we were surprised to find that it was a success with middle class people, I mean we’re obsessed with class in Britain anyway.

The actor went on: ‘I think what linked [the show] to everyone is that family dynamics tend to be very similar and it’s interesting that it transcends class, age, everything. 

‘Also it felt like there was only one other show at the time where people on television watched television and that was The Simpsons. I can’t think of another show.’ 

Now and then: The BBC show centred on the lives of a television-fixated Manchester family and showed a comic portrayal of working-class family life at the turn of the millennium (pictured in 2022)

Speaking on the White Wine Question Time podcast, Ralf said: 'We genuinely believed that we had something special, we felt it was working and that people should love this

Now and then: The BBC show centred on the lives of a television-fixated Manchester family and showed a comic portrayal of working-class family life at the turn of the millennium.(pictured left in 2022 and right in 2000)

Meanwhile, the over 20 years since it aired, the series was handed a warning for discriminatory language in an episode including Jim Royle using a ‘nancy boy’ slur.

The third episode of the second series, which first aired on 7 Oct 1999, sees Ricky Tomlinson’s disagreeable character watching an episode of Changing Rooms, during which he calls Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen a ‘nancy boy’. 

Following similar warnings on shows including Fawlty Towers and Dad’s Army, the particular episode, which already had an ‘adult humour’ warning, also carries the tag: ‘Contains discriminatory language which some viewers may find offensive.’

A BBC representative told MailOnline: ‘Some older programmes on occasion contain language that some viewers find offensive, inappropriate or which have now fallen out of use, and for that reason, we do make that clear on iPlayer and elsewhere.’ 

While the show is much-loved, the warning has now been added to that particular episode – in the latest warnings which have been deemed too ‘woke’. 

Around the same time, the channel slapped a ‘discriminatory language’ warning on the 1971 Dad’s Army film, which was met with outrage.

The BBC aired the film with the warning that some viewers may find it ‘offensive’ prompting outraged fans to call for the corporation to ‘stop making issues when there aren’t any’. 

The broadcaster said the warning has, ‘has nothing to do with the general content of #DadsArmy, which is a British TV classic,’ but said the film, ‘includes a specific racially derogatory phrase.’

The warning refers to the archaic term ‘fuzzy-wuzzies’, used by British soldiers to describe people from the Sudan.

In the film, Clive Dunn’s character Lance Corporal Jones Jones’s uses the term ‘fuzzy-wuzzies’, to describe enemies he fought in the Sudan under General Kitchener. 

The BBC issued a warning before it aired as parts of the classic ‘could cause offence’.

Viewers who went to watch the film on the BBC’s iPlayer had a message pop up reading: ‘Contains discriminatory language which some may find offensive.’

Oh dear! The Royle Family is the latest BBC show to be given a warning for discriminatory language due to Jim Royle's 'nancy boy' slur (clockwise from bottom) Jim (RICKY TOMLINSON), Barbara (SUE JOHNSTON), Anthony (RALPH LITTLE), Denise (CAROLINE AHERNE), Dave (CRAIG CASH) and Nana (LIZ SMITH)

Oh dear! The Royle Family is the latest BBC show to be given a warning for discriminatory language due to Jim Royle’s ‘nancy boy’ slur (clockwise from bottom) Jim (RICKY TOMLINSON), Barbara (SUE JOHNSTON), Anthony (RALPH LITTLE), Denise (CAROLINE AHERNE), Dave (CRAIG CASH) and Nana (LIZ SMITH)

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