Prince Andrew was happy after train crash BBC interview

Prince Andrew had no idea at first that his infamous BBC interview – in which he claimed he was unable to sweat and admitted he had no regrets about his friendship with pedophile Jeffrey Epstein – was an unmitigated disaster.

Sam McAlister, the producer who landed the interview with the royal family in 2019, writes in her new book ‘Scoops’ that it was clear to the BBC team from the first question that the prince was destroying his career and reputation.

“Every time I thought it couldn’t get any worse, it did,” McAlister writes. “The answers showed… how far removed he was from the reality of an average life.”

When the cameras stopped rolling, the author adds, “I could hardly believe his people hadn’t stopped the interview. I would have done it despite the consequences.”

Prince Andrew 2019 BBC interview
Prince Andrew was so pleased with his trainwreck 2019 BBC interview with journalist Emily Maitland that he invited the crew on a tour of the palace afterwards.

Andrew’s private secretary and top assistant at the time, Amanda Thirsk, wasn’t distraught, much to the producer’s surprise: “She beamed back to me, ‘Wasn’t he great?'”

The prince seemed just as happy. McAlister expected the prince to look shocked or concerned, but he seemed effusive.

“And then it hit me: he actually thought it had gone well. He was even in a good mood,” she writes. “He was in such a good mood that he offered us all a tour of the palace. I couldn’t go. I could not speak to him in good faith.”

Prince Andrew pictured with Virginia Roberts Giuffre and Ghislaine Maxwell.
The prince denied any memory of meeting Virginia Roberts Giuffre (center), despite the photo of them with his friend Ghislaine Maxwell.

McAlister added that interviewer Emily Maitland went on tour because she “couldn’t refuse. I don’t know how she kept her composure.”

During the now infamous interview, Prince Andrew denied any memory of meeting Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who claimed she was traded to the prince at least three times by Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell when she was 17.

As for the much-seen photo of Andrew, a teenage Giuffre and Maxwell, the prince told the BBC: “Nobody can prove whether that photo was edited, but I don’t remember that photo ever being taken.”

Prince Andrew in Royal Navy uniform
His time in the Falklands War, in the Royal Navy, had prevented him from sweating, Prince Andrew told the BBC in his defense of Giuffre’s claims.
Tim Graham Photo Library via Get

Giuffre claimed she danced with Andrew in a London nightclub – and recalled that he was sweating profusely.

But Andrew gave the BBC an unusual explanation as to why that wasn’t true.

“I have a peculiar medical condition, which is that I wasn’t sweating or sweating at the time… I had suffered from what I would describe as an adrenalin overdose in the Falklands War when I was being shot at,” he said. . As a result, “It was almost impossible for me to sweat.”

Prince Andrew with Jeffrey Epstein (right).
In his infamous BBC interview, Andrew (left) said he had no regrets about his friendship with convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein (right).
The Sun/ News Licenses / MEGA

He also claimed that he couldn’t be at Tramp’s nightclub the night in question, as Giuffre claimed, because he took his daughter, Beatrice, to a Pizza Express restaurant for a party.

One of the most shocking parts of the interview was when Andrew was asked why he was still friends with Epstein even after the businessman was convicted in 2008 of obtaining a minor for prostitution.

Asked if he regretted the friendship, Andrew said: “Well, still not, and the reason for this is that the people I met and the opportunities I got to learn, either through him or thanks to him, actually were very helpful.”

Prince Andrew with daughter Princess Beatrice
BBC producers found it uncomfortable that the prince took his daughter Beatrice to a meeting about the interview.

In addition, he added that Epstein’s Manhattan mansion was “a convenient place to stay.”

The prince also said his visit to Eptein in 2010 — after the convict had served his time — would personally end their friendship.

“At the time I thought it was an honorable and right thing to do, and I fully admit that my judgment was probably colored by my tendency to be too honorable, but that’s the way it is,” Andrew said.

Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson
Andrew married Beatrice’s mother Sarah Ferguson in 1986 and they are still living together ten years later.
Tim Graham Photo Library via Get

Prior to the interview, McAlister and Maitland were shocked when Prince Andrew entered the Buckingham Palace room for final negotiations and said he had brought someone with him.

“And then Princess Beatrice appeared from behind him,” McAlister writes.

“Frankly, the only thing worse than talking to a potential interviewee about allegations of sexual impropriety, pedophilia and sex with a 17-year-old girl is having to do this in front of his daughter.”

Andrew (second from right, with his siblings)
Andrew (second from right, with his siblings) is not allowed to wear his military uniform while mourning the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth.

McAlister says the princess was “polite and engaged…but she was clearly concerned about the encounter, unlike her father.” After it was over, Andrew turned to his daughter and announced that they had a lot to discuss with his “mother” – Queen Elizabeth.

The producer says the question she gets about the interview is why Andrew agreed.

“You have to remember the life he lived,” she writes. ‘The third child and the second son, but always said they were the Queen’s favourite. Granted extraordinary access and opportunities. Everywhere he went, he crawled.”

Andrew (third from left) stood front and center as the royal family went to inspect flowers left for the late queen.
Andrew (third from left) stood front and center as the royal family went to inspect flowers left for the late queen.
Getty Images

McAlister notes that most CEOs would not have taken the risk, but “Andrew was not subject to normal checks and balances. He and his people must have thought that this moment, this hour of his life, would change the public perception of him for the better. It seems unthinkable now.”

The consequences were quick and hard.

Scoops: Behind the scenes of the BBC's most shocking interviews
McAlister’s book also recalls interviews with Amy Schumer and Steven Seagal.

Days after the interview aired, Andrew released a statement that he was relinquishing public duties. He was also stripped of his military and royal titles.

Amanda Thirsk, the assistant who set up the interview, resigned from her position.

Earlier this year, the Duke settled a sexual abuse lawsuit with Giuffre for a reported $12 million.

In an unsigned letter attached to the settlement application, Andrew said Giuffre had suffered as an “identified victim” of sexual abuse but had not admitted any wrongdoing.

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