‘Disastrous’ and ‘excruciating’: Reaction to Prince Andrew’s interview

"Disastrous" and "excruciating" are just some of the words being used to describe an unprecedented interview given by Prince Andrew to address his friendship with American sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

The Duke of York was interviewed on the BBC's Newsnight about his links to the convicted paedophile, who died in prison earlier this year, and allegations that he had sex with a 17-year-old girl.

His appearance on the programme was the culmination of years of statements from Buckingham Palace, and was intended to dispel increasing scrutiny of his relationship with Epstein.

Andrew denies sex with 17-year-old

Many viewers and analysts have been left stunned by the nature of the hour-long interview, with one public relations expert comparing the footage to "watching a man in quick sand".

Crisis consultant Mark Borkowski said it would likely "haunt" the duke in future and could impact his association with some charities that he works with.


He added: "I've never seen anything so disastrous. For students of PR, that is how not to do it. It was like watching a man in quick sand and unfortunately, I don't think anyone would have thrown him a line to get him out."

Mr Borkowski said the duke should "keep a low profile", switch off his phone and not look at the papers on Sunday, which are dominated by the fallout from the interview.

More from Prince Andrew

Several have focused on his claim that he was in a Pizza Express restaurant in Woking on a night he is accused of having sex with Virginia Roberts-Giuffre, who says she was trafficked by the billionaire Epstein as a teenager and then forced to have sex with his friends – including Prince Andrew – when she was 17.

Some of those who watched the programme on Saturday have asked why the palace agreed to go ahead with it, with interviewer Emily Maitlis having said that the interview was signed off by the Queen.

Piers Morgan labelled it as "excruciating" in response to a tweet from Rose McGowan – the actress who became one of the most vocal accusers of Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.

The former Charmed star said watching the interview made her feel "nauseous".

Ms Roberts-Giuffre was also active on Twitter as the programme aired, retweeting a number of negative reactions, including one that accused the duke of trying to "undermine his accuser".

He has been mocked relentlessly on social media for some of his comments during the interview, notably those surrounding his mention of Pizza Express.

Prince Andrew says he 'let the side down' over his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein
Image: Prince Andrew pictured with Jeffrey Epstein

TV presenter Giles Coren and columnist was not convinced by the pizza story. "Ask him what he ordered. IRead More – Source