Prince Andrew threw ‘curveball’ during Newsnight interview negotiations

The BBC presenter makes the comments in a forthcoming documentary titled ‘Andrew: The Problem Prince’

Ellie Muir
Thursday 27 April 2023 06:51 BST
Prince Andrew: I stayed at convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein's house because I am 'too honorable'

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Louise Thomas

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Prince Andrew threw a “curveball” at BBC producers by bringing his daughter Beatrice to negotiations for his fateful Newsnight interview, the show’s producer has claimed.

Channel 4’s two-part film Andrew: The Problem Prince, promises to “tell you everything you need to know about [the] Prince Andrew interview” where he was questioned over his links to convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

In episode two of The Problem Prince, which will air on Monday 8 May, presenter Maitlis and Newsnight producer Sam McAlister reveal that Andrew told them he was bringing someone along to early discussions around the interview.

While the team expected he would bring someone from his legal team, they were stunned when he turned up with Princess Beatrice.

“[Andrew says] ‘I’ve brought someone with me’ and in my head I’m thinking lawyer because that would have been quite sensible, frankly… instead, around the corner comes his daughter, Princess Beatrice,” McAlister said.

“That was really quite a curveball of curveballs. Can you imagine being in Buckingham Palace about to talk to a member of the royal family about sexual offenses? That’s pretty tricky. And now I’ve got to do it in front of his daughter.”

Maitlis said that it had “crossed” her mind that Prince Andrew might have agreed to do the Newsnight interview for his daughter’s sake.

“It’s the first time the thought crossed my mind that maybe he was doing it for her,” she said. “Your life has been hellish. You’ve had to read these headlines. You’re trying to get married. I’m going to do this to make it better for you. I don’t know if that’s true, but it crossed my mind.”

Prince Andrew was so ‘happy’ with how the interview went that he invited Maitlis to a ‘movie night’ at Buckingham Palace
Prince Andrew was so ‘happy’ with how the interview went that he invited Maitlis to a ‘movie night’ at Buckingham Palace (BBC/PA)

Prince Andrew was accused by Virginia Giuffre of sexually abusing her when she was 17. Andrew has vehemently denied the accusations. He reached an out-of-court settlement with Giuffre in February 2022.

In the interview, Andrew made comments about his inability to sweat during a period in his life and claimed he could not have been with Guiffre on 10 March 2001 because he was at Pizza Express in Woking with his two daughters.

Elsewhere in the film, Maitlis recalled that Andrew was so pleased with how the interview went that he invited her and McAlister to a movie night at the palace.

“This is how I know that Prince Andrew is happy with the interview because he stayed chatting. He seemed very jolly,” said Maitilis.

“He looked euphoric because he thought it had gone really well,” added McAlister.

Maitilis recalled being overwhelmed by the whole interview, and the fact that she had been invited to have a cinema evening at the palace.

“A whole load of people came in and I said, ‘What’s going on? They said, ‘Okay, Thursday evenings we have the cinema night at the Palace. You can stay if you want’. And at that point, I just thought, I’ve got to get away from here,” said Maitlis.

“I needed the space to work out what just happened.”

Andrew: The Problem Prince, airs on 1 May and 8 May at 9pm on Channel 4.

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