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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Susan Knox

Lee Mack's risky gag about Prince Philip 'kiss' divides Royal Variety Performance fans

This year’s Royal Variety Performance was the first to take place since Queen Elizabeth II passed away on September 8, 2022, but host Lee Mack's risky gag about late Prince Philip has proved that it may be too soon to joke about the members of the Royal family who have passed away.

This year's Royal Variety Performance took place at London's iconic Royal Albert Hall with British comedian Lee hosting the show - taking over from Alan Carr, who had hosted the previous two years.

As Lee got stuck into hosting duties while performing a comedy routine, it seemed that one joke about Prince Philip left a sour taste in some ITV viewers mouths.

Addressing Prince Edward and wife Sophie - who were sitting in the audience - Lee joked: "I look forward to meeting you both after the show. I've been told all about Royal etiquette.

"I don't want to make the mistake I made on my first Royal Variety Performance in 2002. Apparently when meeting the Royal family, you should bow your head just at the neck and you never offer your hand until you've been offered it by them.

"And the number one rule which I got wrong last time was to never kiss them on the lips. Honestly, I thought Prince Philip was going to punch my lights out."

Taking to Twitter after the gag, viewers shared their distaste for his Royal gag.

"I love Lee Mack but joking about Prince Philip in that way is far too cheeky. Especially given the fact the Queen only passed a few months back. There's a time and a place," one viewer complained.

"Bit cheeky there Lee Mack. Nobody in the audience laughed either. Let the man rest in peace," another echoed.

"Oh dear, I can't believe Lee Mack just said that about Prince Philip!!!! Savage," someone else shared.

"I agree, very, very odd," replied another ITV viewer.

However, others insisted that they weren't bothered by Mack's cheeky joke.

Viewers took to Twitter to slam the joke (Getty Images)

"He's a comedian! Of course he's going to make a joke of it. That's literally HIS JOB. Everyone needs to chill," one fan insisted.

"Ugh you literally cannot say anything anymore. People need to seriously learn how to take a joke. Even the Royals present there laughed," another agreed.

While a third gushed: "Lee Mack is a genius and I won't hear anything else."

The entertainment industry's annual fundraising event for the Royal Variety Charity is dedicated to sharing support with those who have professionally served the entertainment industry and to those who are sick, impoverished or elderly.

The late Queen was honoured during the ceremony following her death in September (Getty Images)

The event, which first debuted back in 1912, features performances on the night and include everything from singers to comedians to magicians and dance acts.

Speaking about the honour of being chosen to host the prestigious event, the comedian said: “I was actually going to buy tickets for this year’s Royal Variety Performance, so not only is it a real honour to be asked to host it, it’s also saved me a few quid.

"I now just have to work out the logistics of introducing these brilliant acts and also rushing back to my seat to watch them.”

Stars who performed this year include George Ezra (David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock)
Ellie Goulding gave a stunning performance on the night (David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock)

Stars who performed this year include George Ezra, Ellie Goulding, Sam Ryder and Becky Hill.

Elsewhere, actress Rita Wilson and two-time Grammy winner Gregory Porter sang a duet, and Frank Skinner, David Baddiel and The Lightning Seeds performed their 1996 hit, Three Lions for those watching at home.

There was also a special version of Sing to honour the late Queen, and it was be performed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Take That’s Gary Barlow, choirmaster Gareth Malone and members of the London Youth Choir.

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