Was Prince Andrew’s BBC Newsnight interview the biggest car crash ever?

Was Prince Andrew’s BBC Newsnight interview the biggest car crash ever?

OK, there have been quite a few candidates for the biggest car crash ever. I often show my media-training delegates the CEO of Exxon trying to defend his company on network TV after the Exxon Valdez oil disaster of the late 1980s. The CEO of BP didn’t do much better after the Gulf of Mexico spill just a few years ago. Then there are countless politicians who have given quite simply atrocious performances, and I’ve commented on many of them in this blog.

But in terms of immediate, catastrophic results, does anyone surpass Prince Andrew? The interview was set up because his reputation was facing a crisis, pure and simple.  And crisis interviews, from the point of view of the interviewee, should follow a very specific formula. Andrew, I’m afraid, broke all the rules. Either that or he wasn’t told about them in the first place, which seems pretty odd for a senior Royal.

Anyway, if the interview was designed to limit the damage to his reputation, or even recover some lost ground, it did the very reverse. Oh boy, did it do the reverse. He’s gone from being at the back of some people’s minds, who might have been vaguely familiar with the allegations against him, to being at the forefront of everyone’s minds, pretty much the world over. Sponsors and charities are deserting him like rain tumbling from London’s winter skies.

Andrew should never have carried out the interview in the first place — at least not in that format. He then compounded that error by giving a crass, deeply off-putting performance. It will surely be years (and maybe never) before he’s welcomed back into public life.

Article date

November 25th, 2019

Robert Taylor

Media Trainer

@RT_MediaTrainer

My main passion is media training, and I’m proud to be one of the UK’s most experienced and successful trainers in this field.

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