Interview TV shows have been a staple of British television, around almost as long as television itself. People simply cannot get enough of guest celebrities asked the biggest and boldest questions by those familiar faces with their own chat show. It might be the USA that is perhaps more famous for the concept but that is not to say the UK has had more than its fair share. With the immense amount of talk shows, the questions asked, and the egos at play, there are always bound to be those interviews that are just car crash material to watch.
#5. Royal Ruination
Very few interviews can be as truly disastrous as that of Prince Andrew on Newsnight in November 2019.
Prince Andrew – the Duke of York, the son of Queen Elizabeth II, and shortlist heir to the throne – was accused of human trafficking of a 17-year-old Virginia Giuffe alongside close ally and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. The relationship was already an odd one but the accusations were incredibly damaging to Andrew, who felt it appropriate to give an interview on BBC’s Newsnight to Emily Maitlis.
Tackling the issue publicly, the interview saw the Duke call convicted sex offender, solicitor of minors, and sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein’s actions “unbecoming.” This term, used as if someone accidentally poured port from the left, left Maitlis shocked as she repeated the term with flabbergast. Also in that interview, Andrew came up with some truly bizarre pieces of evidence to disclude witness testimony such as his inability to sweat due to an overdose of adrenaline during the Falklands War and his presence at a Woking Pizza Hut which he managed to remember the exact date of.
These tall tales were not believed by the public, as Andrew’s interview had, if anything, been shambolic and further tarnished his name. A subsequent YouGov poll found only 6% of viewers believed him, with Head of Data Journalism Matthew Smith documenting:
“The lack of trust in the Duke of York is consistent across society. Only 5% of 2017 Labour voters believe in the prince, as do 8% of Conservatives and 9% of Lib Dems. Men and women are about as unlikely to say they believe him – 7% and 5% respectively – and among age groups the figure varies from 3% to 8%.”
Across the board, no one believed him.
In the end, Andrew decided to settle out of court with Giuffre, admitting no responsibility but paying out a huge sum. If we were to speculate – and only speculate – you may say this would not be a very likely thing for an innocent man to do, allegedly.
Andrew has since been stripped of royal honors and will probably never be reinstated into the royal family in the same way as he was ever again. In trying to redeem himself in the trial of public opinion, Andrew failed miserably.
Still, it’s not all bad, at least he had a top 20 single. What might not be so good is the song’s name: “Prince Andrew Is A Sweaty Nonce”.
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