BBC's Nicholas Witchell hits back at Sussexes' Netflix claims
‘The idea anyone was out to destroy Meghan is frankly absurd’: BBC’s royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell hits back at Sussexes’ Netflix claims – as journalist who conducted engagement interview says ‘recollections may vary’
- Meghan and Harry hit out at the UK tabloid press in their first three episodes
- Nicholas Witchell says Meghan’s claim ‘they were out to destroy her’ is absurd
- BBC’s Mishal Husain also hit back at claims engagement interview was ‘staged’
BBC’s royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell has hit out at Meghan Markle’s claim that anyone was ‘out to destroy’ her as ‘absurd’.
He quoted one of Meghan Markle’s statements in the first three episodes of the Netflix documentary released yesterday which said ‘no matter what I did they were still going to find a way to destroy me.’
Referring to the Duchess’s allegation, Mr Witchell said: ‘The first point who is they she is referring? I think it is the Palace but most particularly the press. But the idea that anyone was out to destroy her frankly I think is absurd and simply does not stand up to proper and reasonable scrutiny.’
It came another BBC journalist Mishal Husain said ‘recollections may vary’ in response to Meghan and Harry’s claim their interview with her following their engagement was ‘staged’.
‘No matter what I did they were still going to find a way to destroy me,’ Meghan said in the docu-series
Mr Witchell described the docu-series as ‘relatively benign so far’ as he appeared on the News at Six last night.
‘Now if you were watching these three hours without all the surrounding noise you might think this was a rather touching love story of a couple seeking happiness but of course there is no escape from that surrounding noise,’ he said.
‘And I think Buckingham Palace on the central and most central and most sensitive issue of race will be relieved there is no new explicit allegation against the royal family – though Harry does say there is a huge level of unconscious bias.
‘His main complaint – and it is a familiar one – is of press intrusion. And this suggestion that there is, what amounts really to a conspiracy between the Palace and the press. And that I think is where credibility is really stretched beyond what is reasonable.
‘Consider one of the things that Meghan said – ‘no matter what I did they were still going to find a way to destroy me.’
‘The first point who is they she is referring? I think it is the Palace but most particularly the press.
‘But the idea that anyone was out to destroy her frankly I think is absurd and simply does not stand up to proper and reasonable scrutiny’
But he said, Meghan and Harry ‘obviously are convinced that they were victims.’
Mr Witchell described the docu-series as ‘relatively benign so far’ as he appeared on BBC News
Meghan and Harry shared never-before-seen photos and videos in their Netflix documentary
The couple say they haven’t been able to tell their story – until now – as the first episodes were released
Their documentary covers the start of their relationship and the early days of dating
He later appeared on the News at 10 where he described Meghan and Harry as ‘a couple who continue to divide opinion very sharply.’
‘It’s a couple who either could not or would not fit into the accepted template of the British royal family.
‘Supporters I think will see these films and regard them as a touching love story, a couple seeking happiness in difficult circumstances.
‘Critics will see the films and see them as further evidence of their indulgence, their self obsession.’
He said: ‘Royal officials who were assigned to them tried desperately to help them. They found it very, very difficult. And yet it is the Sussexes who are convinced that they were the victims.’
This came after BBC journalist Ms Husain was presenting BBC Radio 4’s Today programme when she was confronted with Markle’s allegation.
‘We know recollections may vary on this particular subject, but my recollection is definitely very much: asked to do an interview and do said interview,’ Husain said, according to Yahoo.
Meghan and Harry sat down for an in depth interview with experienced BBC broadcaster Mishal Husain in November 2017, looking happy as they chatted about how they met, fell in love and their hopes for the future.
The interview received a positive response and was, on the face of things, a PR success, cementing the couple’s popularity with the British public.
Meghan and Harry sat down for an in depth interview with experienced BBC broadcaster Mishal Husain in November 2017
The interview came after they posed for photographs during a photocall
Meghan and Harry sat down for an in depth interview with experienced BBC broadcaster Mishal Husain in November 2017 (here Ms Husain is pictured in 2019)
Netflix viewers are instead told that the interview was part of an ‘orchestrated reality show’ with the Duchess of Sussex claiming: ‘It was, you know, rehearsed.’
Later she adds: ‘We weren’t allowed to tell our story, because they didn’t want it.’
Harry agrees: ‘We are not allowed to tell our story. That’s true. That’s the consistency.’
The allegation has been vigorously disputed by the BBC.
Ms Husain told Radio 4’s World at One yesterday that prior to meeting the couple at Kensington Palace: ‘We went and had a conversation with Harry and Meghan and two members of their team beforehand and we talked about what the interview would cover, what they felt comfortable sharing.
‘After that, we went and set up our cameras. They went away for a bit and did their photocall and when they came back we recorded a 20-minute interview.’
The then-director general of the BBC, Lord Hall, has issued a statement defending Ms Husain’s journalism.
It says that Meghan’s allegation that the interview was ‘an orchestrated reality show’ is ‘simply untrue’.
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