PLATELL'S PEOPLE: How Amol Rajan conned me into royal hatchet job

PLATELL’S PEOPLE: How the BBC’s golden boy Amol Rajan conned me into royal hatchet job

Eight months ago, I was introduced to the BBC’s rising star Amol Rajan who asked me to be interviewed for a TV documentary he was making.

It was about Princes William and Harry and their relationship with the media after the death of their mother Diana. He said the working title was The Princes And The Press but, he went on to say, delphically, that it didn’t ‘capture what we’re doing’.

Indeed it didn’t. The first part of the resultant series, broadcast last Monday, was, in my opinion, a hatchet job on the Palace and the Press . . . and a hagiography of Harry and Meghan. It was so biased against the royals the Palace has since threatened a boycott of future dealings with the BBC.

Clearly, being party to such a calumny was not what I signed up for when I submitted myself to at least two hours of filmed conversation with Rajan, who it must be said, was charming, self-deprecating and made me feel everything was on the level.

Eight months ago, I was introduced to the BBC’s rising star Amol Rajan who asked me to be interviewed for a TV documentary he was making

Eight months ago, I was introduced to the BBC’s rising star Amol Rajan who asked me to be interviewed for a TV documentary he was making

When I saw the programme, my two hours had been reduced to less than two minutes of selective quotes. I felt utterly conned.

To avoid further ghastliness, I asked Rajan to show me any other edits of our chat that might appear in the second episode on Monday, given that six months has passed since the interview. He replied: ‘Alas impossible to share: we are still working on the programme. I’m so sorry as always want to be fair.’

I think viewers have already made up their mind about how ‘fair’ the series is.

The producers allowed Meghan’s lawyer Jenny Afia to speak with the duchess’s approval, at length and unchallenged. Most shamefully, they seem to have failed to offer the Royal Family the same opportunity.

What’s more, they gave disproportionate prominence to Omid Scobie, a Meghan super-groupie who was co-author of a fawning biography.

During Monday’s episode, he highlighted two of my Daily Mail columns that were critical of the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William —even though I’ve written any number in their favour, writes Amanda Platell (pictured)

During Monday’s episode, he highlighted two of my Daily Mail columns that were critical of the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William —even though I’ve written any number in their favour, writes Amanda Platell (pictured)

He had free rein to claim the Palace briefed against her because she was too popular. Yet the national broadcaster, set up by Royal Charter, refused Palace staff the courtesy of a preview to see what the Queen and her family were accused of.

I’m deeply ashamed to be associated with The Princes And The Press and feel let down by Amol Rajan, who I believe misled me.

During Monday’s episode, he highlighted two of my Daily Mail columns that were critical of the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William —even though I’ve written any number in their favour. It seemed I was being used to bolster Meghan’s case. I should have known better.

However badly treated I feel, Heaven knows what the royals feel about being trashed by the BBC.

Rod wants to talk about it…. 

Well done Rod Stewart, 76, for encouraging men to take classes in the menopause after his wife Penny Lancaster, 50, said she found it ‘soul destroying’, and he retorted that the whole thing was ‘frightening because this wasn’t the person I married’.

He even learned how to duck saucepans thrown in the kitchen.

It must have been a new experience for the ageing rock lothario — Penny, after all, is the first woman he’s stayed with long enough for her to go through ‘the change’.

Mother of parliaments…

Labour’s firebrand MP Stella Creasy demands Parliament’s rules are changed so that she can bring her three-month-old son into the House of Commons chamber —despite there being a posh on-site creche. Then again, little Pip does fit right in: half the members are overgrown babies, anyway. 

British-born Isis bride Shamima Begum is again pleading from her Syrian refugee camp to return here for a fair trial. Surely we could grant her request. If reports of her participation in Isis horrors prove true, she will spend much of the rest of her life in prison.

The Archbishop of Canterbury says it’s ‘depressing’ that, from Dawn French’s Vicar of Dibley down, TV portrays parish priests as ‘rogues or idiots’. Time for a lesson in humility for the Most Rev Justin Welby: Dawn’s big-hearted Geraldine Granger was loved by her parishioners and the show drew 13 million viewers. During Justin’s leadership, the CofE’s congregation has shrunk to 3 million.

A Royal Society study says albatrosses, some of the world’s most monogamous creatures, are ‘divorcing’ more often thanks to the planet over heating. Is there anything that can’t be blamed on global warming?

Princess Diana’s ex-bodyguard, Sergeant Allan Peters, claims it was she and not Charles who was unfaithful first in their marriage — when she had an affair with her protection officer Barry Mannakee. Even if true, could you blame any woman for straying who was married under such false pretences, with a new husband who had already devoted his heart to another?

Vaughan’s last word

A lot has happened since cricketer Azeem Rafiq tearfully named Michael Vaughan as a racist — claims which he denies.

The former England captain lost his job on the BBC’s Radio 5 Live immediately and now has been cancelled by the Beeb as a commentator on the Ashes. A bit rum given Rafiq himself made anti-Semitic posts and is alleged to have pestered a young woman with messages.

Karma of sorts that Vaughan will be commentating on the Ashes in Australia for Fox Sports, while Rafiq will be free to fry haddock in his Barnsley fish and chip shop.

Don’t look, Jen

Jennifer Lawrence says she’s happy for her co-star Leonardo DiCaprio to be paid £5 million more than her for their new movie Don’t Look Up. ‘Leo brings in more box office than I do,’ says the bravely honest actress. In today’s culture of compulsory equality, Jen will inevitably get a bucket of unsisterly opprobrium dumped on her head. 

Watching An Audience With Adele, some were struck by how lusciously larger she looked compared with her pictures on the two covers of Vogue just a month ago. Surely the gal from Tottenham hadn’t let her images be air-brushed? And, seeing her at the Palladium packed with that audience of obsequious celebs, I couldn’t help wondering if the cheese might have crept back into her diet — and not just her performance.

For those who think our PC Christmas ads are woke enough, there is some one-upmanship from Norway’s Post Office. Its ad, When Harry Met Santa, features a love story where two men snog on Christmas Eve. What must poor old Rudolph be thinking?

My friend Richard Madeley was rushed to hospital during I’m A Celebrity and is recovering after a false alarm. Too many bugs? Gut ache? Or just heartache — as this was the longest he’s been apart from Judy, his wife of 35 years.

Westminster wars

+ At Sir David Amess’s funeral, his lifelong friend Ann Widdecombe said that we should not mourn his brutal death but celebrate his extraordinary life as a devoted MP for three decades.

And what a beautiful legacy he has left in his family — his son David Amess Jnr held his mother’s hand steadying her as she left the service followed by the MP’s four fine daughters.

Although grateful for it, we didn’t need a message from the Pope to remind us what a good man David was.

+ Are we not a little tired of ‘Red Wall’ Tory MPs threatening to topple the Prime Minister? The economy is booming (unlike our neighbours’) and life — for now — is almost back to normal.

Those whiny ingrates have not been in the job for two years and wouldn’t even have one if it weren’t for Boris’s Heineken appeal. Time they showed some loyalty.

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