A STAR of TV's Royle Family has taken up a new role as a representative of the real royal family.

Geoffrey Hughes, 65, who played Twiggy in the BBC sitcom, has been appointed as a Deputy Lord Lieutenant for the Isle of Wight.

The actor's new role will be to deputise for the Lord Lieutenant, the official link between the island and royalty, at formal engagements.

Hughes's other roles have included Coronation Street binman Eddie Yeats and Onslow in Keeping Up Appearances.

An Isle of Wight Council spokesman said: "Mr Hughes, who lives near Newport, was a regular visitor to the island before moving here with his wife Susan in 2003.

"Keen on boating, he has an interest in natural history and the island's bio-diversity and is patron of the Red Squirrel Trust.

"He is also an active supporter of many local charities and organisations, including the Earl Mountbatten Hospice, Cowes Inshore Lifeboat, the RNLI and St Mary's Hospital."