Singer Phil Collins reveals Prince Charles's 40th birthday party request

Phil Collins has revealed he organised a 40th birthday party for the Prince of Wales after Charles was particularly taken with a Michael Jackson show at Wembley.

The former Genesis frontman, who recently announced a comeback tour after changing his mind about retiring, knew Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales, through his work with the Prince's Trust.

The Prince and Princess of Wales line up at the Prince's Trust rock gala before the concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London. (Front row, L-R)
Phil next to Diana in the front row (PA)

He told The Jonathan Ross Show: "We went to a Michael Jackson show at Wembley and I was sitting behind him because I was a trustee and when Michael Jackson was playing something, he turned around and said 'I'd like something like this at my party. Will you organise it?'

"And you think 'Yes, of course, sir, yes' so I did but no, I just found people who could play Michael Jackson songs."

Pop singer Michael Jackson performs at the Irvine Meadows Amphitheater in Irvine
Jacko in 1988 (Ira Mark Gostini/AP)

Phil added that he chose an unfortunate set of songs when performing at Diana's 30th birthday party before the couple announced their separation, telling Ross: "I played a completely insensitive set of (my hits) - Separate Lives, Doesn't Anybody Stay Together Anymore - and it was like, I didn't know they were splitting up, no-one told me!"

The singer, who recently reunited with ex-wife Orianne, said he felt closer to Charles after their separation, adding: "If the situation had arisen, I was involved in the Prince's Trust, I had been since 1983 and so I was kind of drawn to Prince Charles, who I think is a great bloke.

Singer Phil Collins with his new wife Orianne, arrive at the Odeon Leicester Square
Phil and Orianne (Neil Munns/PA)

"I'm not a Tory, I'm not a monarchist but I just think as a bloke, he's a good bloke and I could see that at that time Diana was being a little bit of a loose cannon ...

"We did loads of Prince's Trust concerts and I say apart from the birthday parties that I played at, no I didn't see her so much."

Phil also used his appearance on the show to repeat his dismissal of reports claiming he ended his marriage to his second wife Jill Travelman via fax.

ock star Phil Collins with his wife Jill at the royal premiere of the new Spielberg film Jurassic Park
Phil and Jill (Michael Stephens/PA)

He said: "To this day I don't know how that happened but I haven't really asked really deep questions about the people who were near to me. Well forgive and forget, well at least pretend to.

"At one point that was one way of communicating because of the time change ... anyway I didn't do it but it will be on my headstone - 'He came, he went, da da, da da, da da, and divorced his wife by fax.'"

The Jonathan Ross Show will air on ITV on Saturday at 9.50pm.

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