A retired engineer the late Queen Elizabeth once mistook for comedy actor Ricky Tomlinson is a big hit when he goes on “Royle visits” to a North Wales care home.

Wil Williams, who lives in Valley, on Anglesey, is the spitting image of Ricky’s most famous character, Jim Royle, the patriarch in the hit BBC TV series, The Royle Family.

The 74 year old lookalike is a regular visitor to Pendine Park’s Bryn Seiont Newydd care home in Caernarfon where his mother-in-law, Ethna Williams, is a resident.

Wil said: “I love going to Bryn Seiont Newydd. I’ll go along as Jim Royle and I’ll tell a few jokes, point the remote at the television and perhaps we’ll have a little singsong that lifts my heart and hopefully the residents.

“Ethna has dementia and receives the best possible, professional care at Bryn Seiont Newydd. It’s a wonderful place and I enjoy visiting Ethna and meeting the other residents and staff.”

Bryn Seiont Newydd’s musician in residence, Nia Davies Williams, said: “We welcome visitors and Wil’s visits are a real treat because he lifts everyone’s spirits.

“When he walks into the room, you always do a double take because he is just like Jim Royle’s twin brother – he looks exactly like him.

“The singsongs he leads are always well-received and music is a wonderful therapy for people who are living with dementia.

Wil’s uncanny resemblance to Jim Royle aka the Liverpool-born actor even fooled the late Queen.

She presented him with a medal at Caernarfon Castle for his charity work in raising funds for children with special needs, Guide Dogs for the Blind and the Wales Air Ambulance.

He recalled: “As she’s putting the medal on my chest she said, ‘I don’t watch your programme, but my husband loves it’.

“I was introduced to Her Majesty by Cllr Hywel Roberts, who was Mayor of Caernarfon at the time and he’s spoken about Her Majesty’s comments many times but it was one of my proudest moments to have received that award.”

Wil spoke during a regular visit to the Bryn Seiont Newydd care home on the outskirts of Caernarfon. His mother-in-law, Ethna Williams, is a resident at the  from a Royle person.

Wil, who was born in Oswestry, Shropshire, trained as a mechanical engineer and moved to Gwynedd nearly 40 years ago with his wife Christine.

The couple ran a successful cleaning company as well as Ty Hapus, a guest house which overlooked the Menai Strait.

“The Royle Family started in 1998 and the cleaning company had a contract with S4C children’s programme Uned 5,” said Wil.

“I was in their studio around that time and someone that I looked very like Ricky Tomlinson and the producers decided I could be in the programme even though I don’t speak Welsh. They got me a pair of jeans, a similar polo shirt and glasses and there I was, Jim.

“Since then I’ve used the resemblance to help fundraise for various causes.

“I absolutely love doing charity work as a lookalike and help wherever and whenever I can. If I can make other people happy and put a smile on their faces then I’m happy,” he said.

Wil said he’s nothing like layabout Jim Royle who spends his days sitting in his armchair, watching television and doing as little as possible.

He has met the man behind the character on a number of occasions, the first time during Ricky’s one-man show in Llandudno.

“We bonded immediately and he couldn’t believe how similar we look, we took to each other like brothers, it was quite moving actually.

“He even introduced Mr Williams to the audience as ‘my brother,’ and joked that his father used to be a baker, who had a round in the Caernarfon area,” said Wil.

Since the meeting Ricky has often referred to Wil on stage and during television appearances.

Wil’s wife Christine passed away in 2008 after battling an incurable lung condition called pulmonary hypertension (PH). He has since found happiness once again with Eileen who had also been widowed

“I won the lottery twice with Christine and Eileen. I love what I do but can’t do it on my own and I’ve had tremendous support from both of my wives over the years.

He added it isn’t just Jim Royle that he appears in public as he also plays Santa Claus and during December each year makes dozens of appearances at schools, playgroups and other events across Anglesey and Gwynedd.