Prince Charles has turned down an offer to star in the hit BBC series Doctor Who, triggering an angry response from the show's executive producer.
Russell T. Davies, speaking at the Cheltenham Literature Festival on Sunday night, called the Prince of Wales "a miserable swine" for declining the invitation.
However, the Prince's Clarence House office said the Prince never had a chance to view the invite himself.
"We did receive a request from Doctor Who 's producers," said a spokeswoman. "It was not turned down by Prince Charles but by a Clarence House official. We receive hundreds of requests and he doesn't see them all."
The official did provide another opening for Davies: "It's not uncommon for people to resubmit requests with different criteria and if it was resubmitted we would look at it again."
The Prince is a self-confessed fan of the show and has appeared on other TV series. In 2000, he made a guest appearance in a live episode of Coronation Street to mark the program's 40th anniversary.
He also read his own story, The Old Man of Lochnagar, on the children's show Jackanory.
Davies, who was head writer on the show for four years, announced he was stepping down as Doctor Who's executive producer earlier this year.
"There's nothing I regret," he told an audience of 2,000 fans at the festival. "The show has stayed successful and popular and good, so I'm really proud of it."
Davies was at the event to promote his book about his time on the show.
A fifth season of Doctor Who is not due until 2010 but there are three one-off specials featuring the time-travelling adventurer due out in 2009.