Tucker Carlson fooled by YouTubers who claim they edited Kate Middleton photo

The pranksters claimed ‘mainstream media in the UK wouldn’t touch the story’ to get Mr Carlson’s attention

Alexander Butler
Monday 18 March 2024 05:54 GMT
Tucker Carlson pictured in February 2024
Tucker Carlson pictured in February 2024 (AFP via Getty Images)

Pranksters posing as a former Kensington Palace employee claimed they duped right-wing media pundit Tucker Carlson into believing they had been sacked over the Kate Middleton edited photograph fiasco.

Josh Pieters and Archie Manners originally fabricated the story in a video shared to X - which gained more than one million views - claiming they had been sacked by the Palace for “not doing a good enough job” over the photo.

But the prank went a step further when Mr Manners was invited to a London Studio to be interviewed about his experience with Mr Carlson on the Tucker Carlson Network (TCN).

“That was great, and really interesting too. I didn’t expect to be as interested in it as I was because you told a really great story,” Mr Carlson told Mr Manners after listening to his made-up story.

The pair, whose YouTube channel Josh & Archie showcases a series of celebrity hoaxes, told Deadline they “stroked Carlson’s ego” by offering their story as an exclusive because “mainstream media in the UK wouldn’t touch it”.

Mr Carlson pictured while interviewing Vladimir Putin in February of this year
Mr Carlson pictured while interviewing Vladimir Putin in February of this year (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

The pranksters also said they convinced TCN researchers of their authenticity by creating a fake contract of employment that featured the words Every Little Helps in Latin on a Kensington Palace crest.

It also included a clause in which the royals reserved the right to “amputate one limb of their choosing” if Mr Manners failed a probationary period.

In their initial emailed approach to TCN, the pair posed as a palace employee named George, who said he was “about to be scapegoated” for the furore and “in the process of being let go”.

“I am all too aware of the Royal Family’s ability to throw people like me under the bus in order to protect their reputation,” the email states.

Mr Manners told Deadline that following the interview, TCN told him it would be aired early the next week, but that he and Mr Pieters decided to break cover now to avoid misinformation being broadcast to the network’s 530,000 followers on X.

“We didn’t want to cause any more rumours, that are not true, to go out to lots and lots of people,” he said. “We just didn’t want to be too worthy about that in our video.”

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in