Prince Charles spoofs nervous Countdown interviewer

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Media captionIan 'Molly' Meldrum's interview with Prince Charles did not go smoothly

Prince Charles has appeared in a spoof tribute to a famous interview in which the presenter became too nervous to introduce him.

Host of Australian music show Countdown Ian "Molly" Meldrum could not calm his jitters when he met the prince in 1977.

He stumbled over his lines, declaring: "Your Royal Highness... Oh, oh, I'm sweating like a pig".

In the video to mark Countdown's 40th anniversary, Prince Charles imitates Meldrum's professional meltdown.

A man off-screen tells the prince to "get a grip" and slaps him on the arm, just as someone did to Medlum.

It was later revealed that, in the spoof video, the person who gets to deliver the physical admonishment is actually comedian Jim Davidson - although his face is not seen on screen.

A royal official said the prince wanted someone in the room who had comic timing and would make him laugh.

Speaking directly to the camera, Prince Charles says: "There is an old showbusiness saying which warns never to work with animals or children. But nobody prepared me for Molly Meldrum".

"Was it really 40 years ago? It only seems like yesterday. I wish it were tomorrow, I'd cancel it."

Countdown, which once described itself as Australia's number one rock show, provided a first TV platform for many of the biggest acts who emerged from Australia and New Zealand to gain international success - including Crowded House, INXS and AC/DC.

The show, which aired on a Sunday, finished broadcasting in 1987 after 13 years.

Most of the original encounter was not broadcast at the time, but has since been shown on numerous "blooper" programmes.

Recalling the interview, Meldrum said he did not regret it but admitted: "I definitely stuffed that up."

The 71-year-old, who was renowned for wearing a Stetson hat, worked as a journalist, record producer and entrepreneur and interviewed Madonna, Michael Jackson and David Bowie.

He was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 1986 for services to international relief and youth and subsequently worked as a reporter and interviewer for Channel 7 and MTV in his home country.

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