The world is in mourning for comedy legend Robin Williams who was found dead at his Californian home last night in a suspected suicide.
But many in Merton have fond memories of his royal performance at the New Wimbledon Theatre, where he starred alongside John Cleese and Rowan Atkinson at an event in aid of the Prince’s Trust.
The event saw Robin perform a mix of sketches and stand-up performances in front of Prince Charles in November 2008 which was later televised.
Before going on stage, Robin is said to have surprised an audience of 80 people at the Fighting Cocks in Kingston when he walked on to practise some material.
In an interview with Tim Vine, the Wimbledon Guardian’s sister paper the Surrey Comet discovered the reaction to his surprise appearance.
Speaking about his own upcoming performance at the Kingston venue in the interview last month, Tim Vine said: “Robin Williams did it once.
"He was appearing at Prince Charles' birthday and he needed somewhere to try out his material.
"The audience had no idea it was happening. Maff (Brown, comedian) apparently said: "We've got a surprise for you tonight - Robin Williams!" and the audience laughed.
"Then Robin Williams actually walked on! To a room of about 80 people.”
Robin with Bill Bailey in Wimbledon. Picture: ITV.
A spokesperson from the New Wimbledon Theatre said: "New Wimbledon Theatre were honoured and privileged to play host to Robin Williams in 2008, his first UK stage appearance in 25 years.
"Robin took part in a gala performance in aid of the Prince’s Trust to celebrate the 60th birthday of HRH Prince Charles.
"We remember him fondly and are truly saddened to hear of this tragic loss."
Raynes Park resident Kevin Whincup has been a fan of the actor since he was a child.
Mr Whincup said: “I first remember seeing Robin Williams perform on TV in his role as Mork in Mork & Mindy, and then I saw him in various movies. I am still in shock over the news.
“He was a great actor and I grew up watching him in various roles. He would always make me laugh.”
Mara Buxbaum, Williams' press representative, said: "Robin Williams passed away. He has been battling severe depression of late.
"This is a tragic and sudden loss. The family respectfully asks for their privacy as they grieve during this very difficult time."
Police said the death of the Good Morning, Vietnam actor was a suspected suicide.
A Marin County Sheriff's Office statement said: "At this time, the Sheriff's Office Coroner Division suspects the death to be a suicide due to asphyxia, but a comprehensive investigation must be completed before a final determination is made."
Were you at the performance in 2008? Send your memories of the night to Rebecca.firstname.lastname@example.org or call the newsdesk 020 8722 6336.