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Celebs show support for Prince Charles' 'South Bank Show' comments

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Funnymen Rob Brydon and Billy Connolly were among those in attendance who agreed with Prince Charles' speech
 Photo: © Getty Images

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Rock royalty Peaches Geldof and Ronnie Wood chat at the South Bank Show Awards
 Photo: © Getty Images

28 JANUARY 2010

The Prince of Wales is well known for his vociferous backing of the arts. Among the many roles he has taken on is that of founder and president of the Foundation for Children & the Arts and the School of Traditional Arts. 

So on Tuesday is came as no surprise when he voiced his support for another art institution, the 31-year-old South Bank Show, which aired its final episode in December.

At the programme's awards show, Charles spoke in a pre-recorded video, criticising broadcaster ITV for ending what he called "one of the most important beacons of the arts in this country."

"Civilisation needs all the help it can get more so today than ever before, but now it loses one of its greatest champions," he commented. "It’s a sad loss."

It seems that many in the star-studded audience, which included Twiggy, Peaches Geldof and Ronnie Wood, agreed with the Prince.

Comedian Billy Connolly spoke about the popularity of reality programmes, saying that he prefers to watch artists who "practised and got good."

"I don't see the point of watching people eat cockroaches and wearing women's clothes," he added. "It's kind of pathetic."

Singer Michael Ball also chimed in, calling the cancellation a "sad decision," while Little Britain star Rob Brydon echoed the sentiment.

"In the words of the Scottish chap in Dad's Army, 'We're doomed!'" he said. "We're doomed to watching [arts] on small minority channels."

The awards ceremony will be broadcast on January 31 on ITV.

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