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Camilla films Odell during tour


The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall try out a camera during their visit to New Broadcasting House

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall try out a camera during their visit to New Broadcasting House

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall try out a camera during their visit to New Broadcasting House

The Duchess of Cornwall showed off her skills as a camera operator when she was given the chance to film rising singing star Tom Odell.

Camilla was described by Radio 1 DJ Fearne Cotton as a "natural" for her efforts which came as the Duchess and the Prince of Wales toured the BBC to celebrate the UK's radio broadcasters.

Stood behind the standard definition camera, the royal couple focused the lens on talented artist Tom who was preparing to record a session for Fearne's show, with images featured on the BBC website.

Lee Edmenson, a visualisation producer, stepped aside to let Charles try filming first but it was his wife who got to grips quicker with the array of buttons and switches.

Tom sat behind an upright piano with his bass player, guitarist and drummer a few feet away and Charles encouraged him to play, saying "give it a blast, as loud as you can" when Camilla took over filming duties.

The musician was playing in the Radio 1 live lounge and is one of a number of Brit Award nominees recording sessions this week for the BBC.

Fearne told Camilla she had sneaked out of her show to meet the royals: "Actually I'm live on air but we've got two songs playing back to back to give me enough so I can come and say hello."

And when the Duchess was operating the camera she praised her efforts: "You've got a good zoom going there, you're a natural."

Before leaving the musicians, the prince praised Tom's success since he burst onto the music scene a few years ago saying: "I hear it's been a great transformation from writing in your bedroom."

Speaking about the images recorded by the prince and duchess, Mr Edmenson said: "It looked good, Camilla was a lot better than Charles, she was zooming in and out. If they've got five minutes spare they can come back and help."

He added: "They not as easy to operate as they look but Camilla had the knack, Charles was only interested in the singing."

The royal couple also toured the BBC's World Service department, meeting senior staff, producers and editors.

Camilla got the chance to indulge her love of the Radio 4 programme Woman's Hour when she visited the presenters during her tour of the BBC's radio departments.

But it was a cooker, used to prepare meals featured on the show, that caught her eye.

BBC staff had spent all morning cleaning the large object - and its gleaming chrome was the first thing Camilla noticed as she entered the studio.

The Duchess laughed when she saw the hob and told Woman's Hour Editor Alice Feinstein: "I can't believe you actually cook live on air. It's only got two rings - it's amazing you manage to cook on it."

Presenters Jenni Murray and Jane Garvey are often joined by top chefs for their Cook The Perfect.. slot which involves preparing the recipes live.

Camilla had pre-recorded an interview for the show, talking about the Shakespeare Schools Festival, but indicated she was keen to do more.

Chatting to Ms Garvey - who had earlier tweeted she needed to find a hairbrush - she was invited to come back as a guest any time.

The Duchess was also interested in the programme's features on female life expectancy and supporting sex workers at London's King's Cross station.

She said: "There are lots of things I do feel strongly about, but if I speak about them I will be on my best behaviour."

Ms Garvey replied: "Don't worry we won't let you speak too strongly - sometimes I have very strong opinions and then I get lots of abusive emails."

"Do you get abuse?" asked the Duchess. "Goodness. I do think there are a number of people listening, and watching, who do it just to make a complaint."

Ms Garvey replied: "I'm very proud of our audience - they're the backbone of the nation."

Later, Camilla put on a pair of headphones to listen to some editing, and was taught how to "catch up" on the BBC's programmes on their website.

She said: "Brilliant, I can just get this and catch up on my iPad."

Before leaving the Duchess, a lifelong Archers' fan, was given a picture of the original cast of the radio soap, while the Prince was also given a black and white photograph of his comedy heroes The Goons.

Helen Boaden, the BBC's director of radio, said after the visit: "It's wonderful to have people who really do listen to radio coming to see us - it's a great boost to staff.

"We took the Duchess to Woman's Hour, which she clearly knows very well."

Asked if the Prince knew who Tom Odell was she joked: "I have no idea if Prince Charles knew who Tom Odell was, but if he didn't he covered it up very well."

Not only was Camilla a natural at handling a television camera, but she proved herself to be a budding club DJ when the couple visited the central London studios of radio station Kiss.

Presenter AJ put the duchess and prince through their paces when he asked them to blend a vocal by Rihanna with a Beyonce instrumental track.

The DJ told the royal couple: "It sounds challenging but it's a cinch. It only took me a few years to learn how to do."

Charles didn't quite manage to create a seamless join between the two songs but when Camilla tried the presenter said "That's it," adding "You're a DJ now."

The prince appeared surprised by his wife's skills and said: "Wonders never cease."

AJ added: "Some people just have a natural knack for this kind of thing. Camilla's musical instincts were a little more honed than Charles'."

Kiss is part of the Bauer Radio stable of stations, which includes Absolute Radio and Heat, and is a long-standing supporter of the Prince's Trust.

The couple visited the presenters of the Kiss FM breakfast show - Ricky, Melvin and Charlie - as they recorded an interview with three youngsters who have received help from the trust.

As they prepared to record a link with the prince to be broadcast later, Charles said: "As long as you don't expect me to sing."

But the heir to the throne probably improved his street cred when he mentioned a popular rapper called Pitbull.

DJ Charlie Hedges said about the heir to the throne: "He said, 'Maybe I will sing a bit of Pitbull'."

Producer Adam K said: "Pitbull is massively viewed on YouTube. He is a massive hit with the kids. And His Royal Highness seemed to know who Pitbull is."

But he added that maybe one of Charles son's may have introduced their father to the rapper: "I think it is probably Harry that has influenced him," he said.

Later Charles revealed his real music taste saying: "I'm rather keen on Leonard Cohen. You probably have never heard of him. He is getting older now."

According to the duchess, it was a shame they did not persuade Charles to sing. "If you had given it a bit longer he would have been singing away. He has got a very good voice. He just needs a bit of a push."

She added: "I cannot sing at all. It's my one dread - that someone will ask me to sing."

In the studio Charles recorded a message congratulating the three youngsters - Connor Lancaster, 15, from Bradford, Victoria Hudson, 15, from Middlesbrough, and Ferlondo Fullwood, 17, from Lambeth, south London - for being finalists in the Novae Educational Achiever of the Year Award, to be presented next month.

He said: "Over the last decade, I have met countless young finalists with the most inspiring tales of triumph over adversity. They repeatedly show us that, with the right level of support, young people can and will achieve; that young people battling all kinds of problems but, if given a chance, they will often achieve something quite wonderful."

The prince and duchess also toured Global Radio in London, which owns stations including Classic FM - Camilla's favourite, apparently - Heart, Capital and LBC.

In the studio with Classic FM presenter John Suchet, the prince admitted that he might have offered some "gentle persuasion" when advising the Duchess of Cambridge on her wedding music.

While on a tour of Heart FM, Charles asked DJ Toby Anstis what song he was playing - and looked blank when he was told the singer was Christina Aguilera.

The royal couple also met Capital FM Breakfast show hosts Dave Berry and Lisa Snowden.

Berry said the prince was "incredibly" polite and apologised for keeping him at the station when he and his partner had been up at 4.30am.

He said: "Admittedly he knew nothing about the kind of music we played and, as I am so polite, I wasn't going to ask him about the Big Top 40 number one Clean Bandit and whether he liked it.

"But I do have it on good authority, from a very good contact of mine, that William and Kate always have Capital on in the background when they are at home with little Prince George, so we do have a royal seal of approval."

Another familiar face was Heart DJ Emma Bunton, who has met the prince many times in her previous guise as a Spice Girl.

She said: "He is always such a lovely man and it was so nice to see him again. He was asking me about when the Spice Girls were going to reunite. That puts a bit of pressure on you! He always asked after the rest of the girls and how they are doing."

Her colleague Jamie Theakston added: 'I think they were both quite fascinated to see how it all worked behind the scenes. They are clearly great radio listeners."