ITV sparks complaints from furious viewers as it allows Prince Harry’s ‘bias’ friend Tom Bradby to present News at Ten on Megxit – as they accuse him of ‘trying to blackmail the Queen’
- Mr Bradby has been a long-standing friend of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex
- Sought to explain couple’s decision to step back in newspaper article last week
- Despite the controversy, ITV let Mr Bradby present Monday’s News At Ten
ITV has been criticised by viewers for allowing Tom Bradby to anchor its flagship News At Ten bulletin despite having a major involvement in the Megxit story.
Mr Bradby – a long-standing friend of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex – sought to explain the couple’s decision to step back from Royal duties in a newspaper article last weekend.
He also warned that a failure by courtiers to agree a deal with Harry and Meghan could see the couple give a ‘no-holds-barred’ interview that could damage the monarchy.
ITV has been criticised by viewers for allowing Tom Bradby to anchor its flagship News At Ten bulletin despite having a major involvement in the Megxit story
‘I have some idea of what might be aired in a full, no-holds-barred sit-down interview and I don’t think it would be pretty,’ he wrote in The Sunday Times.
The comment provoked widespread media speculation, including several front-page headlines the following day, that Meghan might accuse the Royal Household of being racist and sexist.
His comments came on the eve of a Sandringham summit involving Harry, the Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William.
Despite the controversy, ITV let Mr Bradby present Monday’s News At Ten, in which the Megxit story was the lead item. The decision provoked complaints from some viewers on social media, including one accusing the 53-year-old news anchor of trying to ‘blackmail’ the Queen.
One said: ‘I think Tom Bradby needs to keep his opinions and stories about the Sussex’s [sic] to himself. He is becoming the news as well as reading it.’
Another asked: ‘How does ITV News feel about their anchor being actively engaged in helping to blackmail the Royal Family, the General Public and 3 governments? Tom Bradby certainly isn’t unbiased and shouldn’t be presenting any news.’
Mr Bradby – a long-standing friend of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex – sought to explain the couple’s decision to step back from Royal duties in a newspaper article last weekend
Intriguingly, when Harry and Meghan announced their decision on January 8 to scale back their Royal duties, Mr Bradby was deployed as a commentator while presenting duties were handed to Mary Nightingale and Rageh Omaar.
The unease about a potential conflict of interest is shared by some of Mr Bradby’s colleagues.
One told The Mail on Sunday: ‘We all thought the bosses were doing the right thing by having Tom as a pundit when the story first broke, but then all of a sudden he was reading the news again – and worse than that he was reading a story which he arguably contributed to by writing his piece in The Sunday Times. If it was politics, this would never have been allowed to happen.’
Mr Bradby became the main host of News At Ten, which is produced by ITN, in 2015. He developed a close friendship with Harry and Prince William during a stint as Royal Correspondent, and he attended their weddings.
It was in his documentary, Harry & Meghan: An African Journey, broadcast in October, that the Sussexes revealed to him the depth of their unhappiness.
ITV’s staff handbook says employees should ‘avoid any obvious or implicit conflict between their personal interests and those of the company’. An ITN spokesman said last night: ‘Tom Bradby’s presentation of News At Ten did not compromise the editorial integrity or impartiality of our news output.’