EMILY Maitlis has lifted the lid on her explosive interview with Prince Andrew – revealing he thought it went so well he talked about arranging another one on his charity work.
She detailed the build-up and aftermath of the now infamous interview two days after it aired, where they discussed the "elephant" of his links to Jeffrey Epstein.
The BBC broadcaster shared the bizarre details of the Newsnight recording in The Times, writing he "[did] not seem particularly nervous" or "like a man who's about to decide his own fate".
He appeared so relaxed that as she left Buckingham Palace Andrew said: "Next time you come, we will talk about Pitch at Palace [his entrepreneurial work]."
Ms Maitlis added: "It nods to the fact he feels he can now get on with the work he loves. But I probably shouldn't wait by the phone."
Palace officials have insisted the Prince will continue with his public work, with a "business as usual" view.
She also wrote how she believed the Queen gave her approval for the interview – which viewers described as a "car crash" and Andrew apparently watched at home on Saturday night.
The journalist revealed: "We have finished laying our pitch. An awkward moment of silence falls. And the Duke tells us he must 'seek approval from higher up'.
"It dawns on us he means the Queen herself."At 8am the next day we have a message telling us to call his office. The Queen, it seems, is on board."
The Duke of York was slammed by viewers for his "lack of empathy" after discussing his friendship with Epstein.
'NEXT TIME YOU COME…'
He responded to allegations made he had sex three times with 17-year-old Virginia Roberts in 2001 after going to Tramps nightclub in London.
In a strong denial he claimed he was at a Pizza Express in Woking with his daughter Princess Beatrice.
Viewers pointed out that the royal should have made his comments while under oath.
One said: "As much as we’re laughing at the Prince Andrew interview for the car crash it was, he should be answering these questions in court under oath!"
Another wrote: "Who advised Prince Andrew to do this interview? Surely he’s just better to give a statement under oath and be done with it. Until then it will never go away.."
But last night palace sources claimed the Duke "stands by his decision" to give the BBC an interview, as one former aide called on him to "take a sabbatical" before more damage is caused, the Daily Mail reports.
Prince Andrew has faced continued scrutiny over his relationship with Epstein, who hanged himself in August while awaiting trial for sex trafficking charges.
Who is Virginia Roberts?
- Mum-of-three Virginia Roberts, now Virginia Giuffre, 36, has alleged that she was procured by Ghislaine Maxwell – Epstein’s ex-lover – to work as a 'sex slave'
- Ms Roberts alleges she met Ms Maxwell while working at Donald Trump's Mar-aLago resprt in Florida.
- Legal documents from a 2015 defamation case – released the day before Epstein killed himself – featured claims that Prince Andrew slept with Ms Roberts three times.
- The Duke of York strongly denies the allegations of sexual misconduct made against him.
- Giuffre says her account is '99 per cent true' but her own former lawyers have described it as 'fictionalised.'
- She claims she first met royal dad-of-two Prince Andrew on a trip to London in 2001 when she was 17 and Epstein and Maxwell were also there.
Andrew was infamously pictured with his arm around Ms Roberts at Ghislaine Maxwell's home in London in 2001.
The Duke was last pictured with Epstein in New York in 2010 after the hedge fund manager had been released from prison and was a registered sex offender.
Ms Maitlis grilled the royal on whether he had any regret or shame about his friendship with the convicted sex offender.
Andrew said: "Do I regret the fact that he has quite obviously conducted himself in a manner unbecoming? Yes."
Ms Maitlis replied: "Unbecoming? He was a sex offender."
He clarified: "Yeah, I’m sorry, I’m being polite, I mean in the sense that he was a sex offender."
Public relations and crisis consultant Mark Borkowski said: "I have never seen anything so disastrous. For any students of PR that is how not to do it."
Epstein was first jailed in 2008 for procuring an underage girl for prostitution. He was released on probation after 13 months.
This July he was arrested on sex trafficking allegations. On August 10 he was found hanged at the New York Metropolitan Correctional Centre — three weeks after being found unconscious with neck injuries.
Checks were not carried out on the night in question, and CCTV appeared to have malfunctioned. Officials are investigating.
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