GMB: Meghan Markle and Harry slammed by Humphrys
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The BBC star returns to screens tonight for one of his final episodes of Celebrity Mastermind. Humphrys, who served as question master on the show for 18 years, will be replaced by Clive Myrie. During the 77-year-old’s journalistic career, he was known for his tough interviews and regular calls for the monarchy to be abolished.
Humphrys has taken issue with a number of royals over the years, most recently attacking Meghan and Prince Harry.
The former Radio 4 host has been increasingly outspoken since the couple announced they would leave senior roles in the Royal Family.
In one outburst he compared Harry to King Edward VIII, who abdicated the throne in 1936 to marry Wallis Simpson, a US divorcé.
Humphrys argued the Prince “appeared to rather enjoy” his royal duties before marrying Suits actress Meghan, in a YouGov article last year.
The broadcaster’s issues with Harry stem back much further than many would believe.
Humphrys refused to appear on the Today programme alongside the Queen’s grandson, when the royal was asked to be a guest editor on the show in 2017.
Despite producers trying to talk Humphrys around, he flatly rejected the idea because he thought the episode would become a “PR stunt”.
In a Daily Mail column last year, he wrote: “I wanted to ask what his minders would see as embarrassing questions and that would be the end of that.”
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Since Meghan and Harry announced their plans to leave and pursue projects close to their hearts, Humphrys has ramped-up his criticism of the couple.
The star, who described himself as “an ardent republican”, branded them “sanctimonious” and “selfish” this month.
Humphrys particularly took affront to the couple’s interview with US megastar Oprah Winfrey.
In the column, he asked whether there wasn’t “the teeniest contradiction” to star on the show while demanding privacy.
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Humphrys vented: “You have agreed to do an interview with the most famous TV celebrity on the planet.”
It followed other moves that are unlikely to keep them out of the public spotlight, including bartering a TV series deal with Netflix and a podcast deal with Spotify.
The arrangements, which are reportedly worth £110million ($152million) in total, are part of Meghan and Harry’s bid to become financially self-sufficient.
Humphrys called out the couple’s decision to go on Oprah instead of a smaller broadcaster if they wanted to set the record straight.
He noted “one of the reasons” they gave for “wanting to free themselves of the Royal Family’s shackles” was for their “privacy to be respected”.
Humphrys continued: “[The] interview… will be broadcast to hundreds of millions of people around the world… isn’t there just the teeniest contradiction here?”
Next, Humphrys took aim at their decision to invite Oprah to their royal wedding in 2018.
The star was annoyed about the cost to the taxpayer and previously argued that the Royal Family shouldn’t live any differently to ordinary Britons.
He said it was “a shame” Meghan’s father Thomas Markle Sr “was unable to go to” the couple’s wedding.
Humphrys wrote: “I suppose not everyone can be there”, because weddings are “so expensive and all that”.
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He continued: “Remind me how much it cost… £32million, was it?” Just as well the taxpayer was footing the bill, eh?”
Meghan and Harry’s wedding was attended by 600 people, a smaller number were invited to the ceremony in St George’s chapel.
Among the guest list were James Corden, George and Amal Clooney, Idris Elba and a roster of A-list celebrities.
Humphrys, who was frustrated by one specific guest, fumed: “You did manage to squeeze your old friend Oprah onto the invitation list.
“I say ‘old friend’ but I believe you’d met her only once before the wedding.”
Humphrys sarcastically remarked “how fortunate” Meghan was “to make friends so easily.”
In a YouGov article last year, he suggested the actress may have been “misinformed” about “joining the Royal Family”.
He wrote: “It was supposed that in marrying him and joining the Royal Family, Meghan Markle fancied a bit of hand-shaking too.
“Why else would she join since that’s what they ‘do’?
“It would now appear that she thought she could become a duchess and an HRH (Her Royal Highness) without having to put on the white gloves.”
John Humphrys stars in Celebrity Mastermind, which airs at 5.50pm today on BBC One.
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