St Andrews Travel Group founder Andrew Dickson has revealed the moment he invited Prince William onto his community radio station when he was appointed as Member of the British Empire (MBE).

Dickson, who founded his travel agency business in 1983, is one of the founders of the 96.5 Bolton FM community radio station which uses around 100 volunteers.

He was appointed MBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List in December for his contribution to business in Bolton and services to the wider community, and met the prince earlier this month when he received his honour.

Speaking to Travel Weekly, Dickson said: “According to my sons I was the only person who made Prince William laugh on the day.

“Prince William said ‘jolly good job with the travel industry’ and asked if I was a disc jockey [on the radio].

“I asked him if he had ever been to Bolton and said when he next came he could come on the radio and be a disc jockey for the day. He thought that was funny.”

Dickson said the industry’s response to his achievement has been “unbelievable”.

He sold St Andrew’s Travel when it had a turnover of £25million after 25 years at the helm. At the time it was the largest independent travel agency in the north-west of England with 75 staff.

“There have been hundreds and hundreds of messages,” Dickson said. “I am still getting messages now.

“It is always pleasing hearing from ex-staff. A lot of my staff went to Travel Counsellors because the training that we gave them was first class.”