The Old Bailey was told yesterday that the Royal at the centre of a gay sex blackmail plot took drugs. The court also heard a comparision to a Royal aide and the BBC Are You Being Served character Mr Humphries.

Sean McGuigan and Ian Strachan deny blackmailing a member of the Royal family.

The claim that the Royal, who can not be named due to a court order, took drugs, was made by Ian Strachan as he attempted to sell the story to a tabloid newspaper journalist, the court heard.

Journalist James Weatherup, told the Old Bailey that he didn’t publish the story as the royal – called Witness A – was “not significant enough.”

Mr Weatherup said the story was about the aide but then “as the story developed we became more interested in A because Ian had said that A took drugs.

“It’s in the tapes. There is an allegation of taking drugs. We’d be interested in proving that A took drugs. We knew that D took drugs because it was on the tape.”

Ronald Thwaites QC, defending Mr McGuigan, asked the journalist: “Would you say camp as that of John Inman in Are You Being Served? In that show, was that how he was cavorting himself around?

“He is hardly someone who sounds irresistible.”

Mr Weatherup said: “I thought that he was quite entertaining.”

Cross-examined by Jerome Lynch QC, for Mr Strachan on whether the journalist was simply flaming up the story, Mr Weatherup said: “He had delivered what he promised to deliver. He was clearly connected in the social circles and he may have been able to provide stories in the future.

“There was no reason to fall out with him because we didn’t want the story.”

Since The Sunday Times broke the story in October there has been widespread speculation as to the identity of the Royal Family member who is the victim of the alleged blackmail.

He has been named on TV in the US and Australia and on numerous websites.

The British press are legally restrained from revealing the identity of the person, though it has been reported that he does not carry out any public duties.

Buckingham Palace has refused to comment on the alleged blackmail plot, saying only that it is a matter for the police.

Strachan and McGuigan are both pleading not guilty to making demands with menaces, contrary to the Theft Act 1968.

The trial continues.