Charles offered part in production starring Ashley Walters
The Prince of Wales was offered a part in the next production starring Ashley Walters, as the actor joined him at the launch of a Prince’s Trust centre.
Walters, best known for his roles in a series of gritty urban television series and movies, asked Charles if he would like to appear in his new project – but the future king politely said no.
The men met when Charles opened a new south London centre for his trust, which will provide a range of facilities for young people in the capital.
Walters, a Prince’s Trust ambassador, said about his brief chat with the prince: “I know that he’s into film and TV, so any time he wants a role, we’ve got one for him on the off chance – but he didn’t want to do it.”
The former rapper with So Solid Crew said laughing: “He was quite adamant about it and said no.”
Walters, who has appeared in the series Top Boy and movie Bullet Boy, ran acting workshops for young people at the new centre.
He added: “Growing up in south London myself, I know the importance of having spaces like this open for young people.
“I have made mistakes in my past so I am really pleased to be able work with the trust, in a community that I know, to share my own story and engage with young people who need guiding in the right way.”
Located in Southwark, a borough with some of the highest rates of violent crime in London, the new centre will provide a secure, accessible space for young people seeking support, training, employment, and a safe environment to socialise with friends.
Charles also met boxer Nicola Adams and TV presenter and former soldier Ant Middleton, another celebrity ambassador, who is working on a course offering young people the chance to develop their confidence and leadership skills through adventure activities, which will launch next year.
He said: “It is a course to help instil a bit of discipline, structure and a different way of thinking in their lives.
“These youngsters are so intelligent nowadays, but because they are surrounded by negative challenges, the outcomes are going to be limited.
“This is about seizing that potential and structuring. We all have strengths and weakness and it is about making it work for you.
“There is nothing like seeing a person’s true colours when they are challenged and putting them in a different environment, and pushing them through hardship will do that.”
Chatting to youngsters from Ernest Bevin College in Tooting, south-west London, who were demonstrating martial arts techniques, Charles joked: “Next time I see you, you’ll be really good at this. Just listen to what he tells you.”
The new centre has been designed in collaboration with young people supported by the trust and is home to a climbing wall, which was demonstrated to Charles, a cinema facility and community areas available to the trust’s local partners.
One of those there helped by the trust was Emanuel Balogun, 27, who underwent a trust mentoring scheme and now has his own digital marketing business, FYF Digital.
He said: ‘The trust has given me the chance to make something of myself. I come from a very rough area where the easiest thing was to go down into a life of crime.
“I knew that I didn’t want that, and that I wanted to start my own business, but I didn’t know how to go about it.
“I was told about the Prince’s Trust, and decided to give them a call in my lunch break while working at Currys – and that was it.”