John Humphrys brutally compared Prince Harry to George Best in royal swipe: ‘Any regrets?’

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JOHN HUMPHRYS compared Prince Harry to troubled footballer George Best in a brutal royal swipe.

Humphrys, who ends his 55-year career with the BBC next month, has ramped up his verbal attacks on Prince Harry in recent years.

His difficulties with the Queen’s grandson started when he took over as a guest editor of BBC Radio 4’s Today show, which Humphrys presented for 10 years.

The veteran journalist, who was known for fiercely grilling politicians, refused to appear alongside Harry because he felt it would be a “PR exercise”.

Humphrys believed his show would be taken off-air while interviewing the Duke because of certain questions he intended to ask.

In his Daily Mail column last year, he wrote: “His minders would regard [the questions] as impertinent or embarrassing questions and that would be the end of that.”

Humphrys had experienced censorship at the hands of the royals before – most notably during an interview with the late Prince Philip.

During a chat to mark his 70th birthday, the journalist quizzed “why the Queen hadn’t helped him out” when he had to sell his racing yacht because of its “expensive upkeep”.

Humphrys said his chat with the Duke, who sadly passed away last week at the age of 99, was “pretty boring” except for that “section when he got very cross”.

According to Humphrys, Buckingham Palace “complained and the BBC cut it out”.

More recently, Humphrys has projected his republican anger towards Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, following their decision to leave senior royal roles last year.

He branded the Duke a former “professional hand-shaker” in a YouGov column last year and the Duchess “misinformed” for joining the Firm.

Humphrys claimed Harry couldn’t “be bothered” with royal duties and chose to “slope off to a life easier on the hands”.

john humphrys prince harry mastermind royal family

Express.co.uk reveal the most popular Royal Family members online (Image: EXPRESS)

Following the Sussexes’ interview with Oprah Winfrey, the anti-royal campaigner spoke out again.

In his Daily Mail column, he blasted the “contradiction” of their demands for privacy while being interviewed by “the most famous TV celebrity on the planet”.

Their tell-all chat was watched by 49.1 million people worldwide, according to CBS, who first broadcast Oprah With Meghan And Harry.

Humphrys admitted he approached the Sussexes for an interview but based on previous experiences he doubted his chances of success.

john humphrys prince harry mastermind royal family

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey was slammed by John Humphrys (Image: GETTY)

Previously, he told the Daily Mail that the Queen had rejected his interview requests three times.

In one encounter with Her Majesty, she allegedly told him: “What’s more… if one were ever to do such an interview it would most certainly not be with you.”

Humphrys revealed the questions he would have put to Meghan and Harry if they had accepted his invitation to talk to them.

He also compared the Duke to George Best, who was known as “the greatest footballer” but a man who “had a number of fatal flaws”.

The Northern Irish winger died in 2005 at the age of 59, following a very public battle with alcoholism.

Humphrys claimed, “every ageing hack loves the story of George Best” and recounted one reporter’s tale from interviewing him in The Ritz.

The footballer was “sipping champagne on a bed littered with £20 notes” alongside a “stunning model wearing very little”.

Humphrys recalled the “immortal question” asked by the reporter: “Tell me, George, where did it all go wrong?”

john humphrys prince harry mastermind royal family

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s interview with Oprah Winfrey was watched by more than 49 million (Image: GETTY)

The former BBC star continued: “And that’s my question for you, too, Harry.”

Humphrys said the public loved him for having “managed to rise above” the tragic death of his mother, Prince Diana, in 1997.

He thought the Duke was a “highly respected member of the Royal Family”, “served with distinction” in the military and “did some commendable charitable work”.

The star added: “And then you decided you had had enough.”

john humphrys prince harry mastermind royal family

John Humphrys will be replaced by Clive Myrie after leaving Mastermind and Celebrity Mastertmind (Image: BBC / GETTY)

Humphrys claimed Harry “caused” the Queen “anguish” and did “serious damage to the institution” he was “born to serve” and “benefitted from so massively”.

He continued: “Now you are widely regarded as a sanctimonious, selfish young man.

“[Someone] who tells others how to lead their lives while you enjoy a life of luxury that is unimaginable except to a tiny few.”

Humphrys revealed his final question for the Duke – if he had “any regrets” and if there was “anything that might persuade” him to “come home”.

John Humphrys stars in Mastermind, which airs at 8pm Monday on BBC Two, and Celebrity Mastermind, which returns to screens at 5.25pm, on April 24, on BBC One.  

Source: EXPRESS CO UK

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