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Evans enlists Camilla's support

Radio 2 presenter Chris Evans swapped Broadcasting House for Clarence House today as he had a royal appointment at the home of the Duchess of Cornwall.

The breakfast show host made his visit after enlisting the support of the Duchess for children's short story contest 500 Words, which is in its fifth year.

Evans, 48, arrived in a flamboyant outfit which would not have looked out of place on film character Austin Powers with his pin-striped, double-breasted frock coat, skinny-fit trousers and over-sized glasses.

The pair fuelled their friendship over cars when Camilla showed Evans a model of the Aston Martin DB6 MKII that her husband, the Prince of Wales was given by the Queen for his 21st birthday.

Charles had the car converted to run on bioethanol made from surplus British wine and loaned it to the Duke of Cambridge for his wedding to Catherine Middleton.

Evans told Camilla he owns the "sister" car to the one Charles drove, a DB5 convertible that used to belong to the Prince's aunt, Princess Margaret.

The Duchess has long been a supporter of literacy initiatives and is backing this year's awards by hosting the final from St James's Palace, inviting 50 finalists and a Radio 2 production team which will broadcast live from the venue.

She will also attend a special "story laboratory" to mark the launch of this year's contest - which aims to find promising young writers - at Weston Park Primary School, London.

Under-13s can take part by writing a work of fiction no longer than 500 words, with entries through the Radio 2 website at bbc.co.uk/500words.

The judging panel includes Top Gear's Richard Hammond, writers Francesca Simon, Charlie Higson and Frank Cottrell Boyce and children's laureate Malorie Blackman.

Six winners will be chosen, with their works read out on air by famous names. Last year's readers included Benedict Cumberbatch and Hugh Bonneville.

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