Comedian Hugh Dennis reveals ‘embarrassing’ meeting with the Queen at UCS school

Comedian Hugh Dennis had Hampstead pupils rolling in the aisles as he regaled them with hilarious stories at their annual prize giving.

The Mock The Week panellist and Outnumbered actor revealed that when he was head boy at University College School (UCS) in Frognal in 1980, he was given the formidable task of escorting the Queen on a visit.

As Her Majesty laid some earth on a tree at the official ceremony to reopen the school after it had been damaged in a fire, the comedian had to lead his classmates in a round of three cheers to the Queen by shouting down a megaphone.

He told UCS pupils on Thursday, May 24 that he was gripped with fear that none of his fellow students would join in the chorus, and that he would be alone, megaphone in hand, in cheering the Queen on.

He breathed a sigh of relief when they replied “hip, hip hurrah!”.

The impressionist was handing out books for prizes to the schools top performers, a tradition he is familiar with form his school days.

But whereas most of the prize winners this year asked for challenging reads from Noam Chomsky among others, Mr Dennis set his sights a little lower.

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Former Prime Minister Harold Wilson once presented him with the Reader’s Digest book on home improvements, while another year he was give the AA book of the car.

This year’s prize winners included Harry Wilson, who won the Douglas Wray prize for art, and Zachary Nutman, who was awarded the Transitus Economics prize.