Prince Andrew's Bombshell Interview Over Jeffrey Epstein Links Earns BBC 1.7 Million Viewers

The hourlong special has been labeled a PR disaster for the British royal and Buckingham Palace.

Prince Andrew's controversial and widely-discussed recent interview with the BBC, in which the British royal and third child of Queen Elizabeth was scrutinized over his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein and faced accusations that he had sex with a teenage girl, has earned the broadcaster solid ratings. 

The exclusive interview with Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis — which dominated headlines after it aired at 9 p.m. on Saturday on BBC Two — earned overnight figures of 1.7 million, a record performance for the program. On Newsnight's YouTube channel, 450,000 people have since watched the interview.

The hourlong special has been labeled a public relations disaster for both the royal and Buckingham Palace.

Over the course of the conversation, Prince Andrew said he didn't regret his friendship with Epstein, attempted to explain why he stayed with the sex offender in New York for several days just months after he was convicted and claimed he couldn't remember ever meeting Virginia Giuffre, who has accused him of having sex with her on three separate occasions (the first time when she was 17), despite a now-notorious photograph of the two together.

Prince Andrew has been loudly criticized for failing to show any remorse for the victims of Epstein's crimes, while also routinely mocked on social media for providing unusual alibis when responding to accusations by Giuffre, including a claim that he had had a medical condition that prevented him from sweating (Giuffre had said they first met in a London nightclub in 2001 where the royal was "sweating profusely"). 

Reports emerged on Monday that Prince Andrew's PR adviser quit earlier this month after advising the royal against the BBC interview.