PRINCE Andrew’s aides thought he was ‘wonderful’ during his Newsnight interview, it has been revealed.
Sam McAlister, the show’s interview producer, has revealed painful details about the Duke’s 2019 “Trainwreck” interview with Emily Maitlis.
At the time, Andrew was being asked about his ties to late pedo Jeffrey Epstein.
And now, three years after the interview, McAlister has revealed the Duke was so pleased with his performance that he even offered the Nightnews team a tour of the palace.
During the interview, Andrew said he had “no recollection” of meeting Virginia Roberts Giuffre.
He even provided an ‘alibi’ claiming the night the alleged encounter took place he was at a Pizza Express birthday party in Woking with his daughter Princess Beatrice.
McAlister said after the interview, the Duke’s aides were beaming, with one exclaiming: “Wasn’t he wonderful?”
So did Amanda Thirsk, the Duke’s private secretary at the time who was “smiling”.
Details of the car crash interview emerged from McAlister’s forthcoming book, Scoops: Behind The Scenes Of The BBC’s Most Shocking Interviews.
In an excerpt published by MailOnline, McAlister recalls the moments just after the interview ended.
She wrote: “I couldn’t look at anyone. I could hardly believe his people hadn’t stopped the interview.
“I would have done it, despite the consequences.
“‘How did you think it went?’ I asked the squire, she beamed.
“‘Wasn’t he wonderful!’ she said. I expected Amanda Thirsk to be distraught, for the prince to look shaken or worried, but she was smiling and he seemed exuberant.
“And then it hit me: he actually thought it had gone well.
“He was in such a good mood that he offered all of us to visit the palace. I couldn’t go.
“I couldn’t have talked to her in good faith. Of course, Emily couldn’t refuse. I don’t know how she kept her cool.”
McAlister goes on to describe how the interview got “worse and worse”.
She recalled Andrew’s response when asked if he felt guilt, regret or shame about his friendship with Epstein.
She wrote: “I looked up from the floor, watching him gather for one of the final answers.
“‘As far as Mr. Epstein is concerned, it was not the right decision to go and see him in 2010.
“‘As far as my association with him is concerned, it has had very beneficial results in areas that have nothing to do with what…we are talking about today.’
“Extraordinary that he couldn’t see how terrible it sounded.”
She added: “That was it. A more shocking interview than any of us could have ever predicted.
“I couldn’t look at anyone. I could hardly believe his people hadn’t stopped the interview. I would have, despite the consequences.”
The revelations come just days after socialite Ghislaine Maxwell was jailed for 20 years for abusing and grooming dozens of girls for twisted Epstein.
The convicted sex trafficker and Andrew allegedly flirted with each other while hanging out on Epstein’s famous Caribbean island of Little St James, the former housekeeper has claimed.
And now, after Maxwell’s conviction, the Duke of York is believed to be the ‘next target’ of lawyers investigating the sex ring controlled by multi-millionaire pedophile Epstein.
The Duke agreed to a £12million settlement with sex abuse accuser Virginia Giuffre in February.
Spencer Kuvin, who represented nine victims of Epstein, told The Sun: “Anyone who took advantage of a minor after being given that minor by Mr Epstein or Ms Maxwell should also be prosecuted.
“An extradition is highly unlikely to occur, so the prince should be here in the United States and be arrested while he is here.
“Tell Prince Andrew he should spend the summer here in the States. Come on vacation.
However, the disgraced Andrew has no intention of helping authorities with the investigation, a source has claimed.
A well-placed source told the Mirror: “Andrew has no intention of speaking to US authorities.
“He has nothing to say and nothing to add.
“He sees no reason for anyone to want to talk to him and now that his case has been settled with Virginia Giuffre, he considers the matter closed.”
In January 2020, Andrew claimed to have offered to help US prosecutors three times in their investigation of Epstein.
Scoops: Behind The Scenes Of The BBC’s Most Shocking Interviews will be released by Oneworld on July 14.