In Brief

Prince Andrew’s aides ‘pleased’ with car crash interview, BBC presenter claims

Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis says she knew within minutes of starting televised chat that the Royal’s comments would prove ‘explosive’

Prince Andrew and his team were “happy” with the infamous BBC Newsnight interview that led to his effective sacking from royal duties just days after airing, it has been claimed.

Interviewer Emily Maitlis “has revealed that it was only after the public reacted with fury and incredulity to his performance that his aides began to worry”, the Daily Mail reports.

Speaking to Radio Times ahead of next week’s Bafta TV Awards - where the interview with the Duke of York is nominated in the news category - Maitlis said: “We know that the Palace was happy with the interview. We had plenty of engagement with them after it went out.

I think their shock was not at the interview itself, but the reaction it caused in the days and weeks afterwards.” 

During the 45-minute grilling at Buckingham Palace, the Duke declined to say he regretted his friendship with late convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

The Royal claimed he stayed at Epstein’s home during a trip to New York after the billionaire was convicted of child sex offences because he was “too honourable to end the relationship, adding that in “hindsight”, the decision was a mistake.

Andrew’s many other “memorable answers” included detailing a visit to Pizza Express in Woking and claiming that he was medically unable to sweat after serving in the Falklands War, the Daily Mirror adds.

Maitlis says that she realised the interview would be “explosive” within minutes of kicking off filming, adding: “First, he was tackling the subject matter head on. 

“Secondly, the lack of apology or any real expression of regret told me that the Prince still believed that his actions had broadly been the right ones. And thirdly, the level of detail was unlike anything I was expecting.”

YouGov polling results released after the interview found that just 6% of Britons believed the Duke’s account of his friendship with Epstein.

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