Paul Burrell, former butler to the late Diana, Princess of Wales, squirmed on live television on Wednesday morning after an Australian news anchor blasted him for comments he has made about the Duchess of Cambridge.
Karl Stefanovic, who presents Nine Network’s breakfast programme, Today, in Australia, couldn’t hold back when interviewing the butler, who said last week that the Duchess doesn’t have the “X factor.”
In an earlier interview with Nine News, Mr Burrell said: “I met Mother Teresa — she had it, Pope John Paul II had it, the Queen has it, Diana certainly had it. Kate doesn’t.”
He added: “[She is a] lovely, lovely girl,” but that “extra something, which you call the X factor,” is not there.
Mr Burrell was appearing on the Australian morning breakfast programme to discuss Diana in the run up to the 20th anniversary of her death. However, the interview took a different line of approach when Mr Stefanovic blasted the former butler turned reality star.
He asked: “We have a lot to talk about this morning, but first I want to ask you about your comments about Kate Middleton (sic) … That’s way too harsh, isn’t it?
“How dare you even say that!”
Mr Burrell responded in a blustered fashion: “Well, because you see, standing beside someone like Diana I saw something so special and so magical that I can’t — I have never seen that.”
Mr Stefanovic further challenged Burrell, asking whether he had even ever stood beside the Duchess.
“No, I haven’t. I don’t know Kate. I just see her the way you see her, through a lens,” he responded.
The news anchor further asked: “Why don’t you leave Kate alone?” he said. “Do you have some sort of oxygen deprivation at the moment? I mean, come on. She is a mother of two doing the very best she can. She’s awesome.”
Stefanovic’s co-host, Lisa Wilkinson, intervened and began talking about Diana, Princess of Wales – much to Paul Burrell’s relief.
However, before the interview ended, Stefanovic made one last jibe, saying: “If William is king one day and I found out you had said that about Kate I wouldn’t be letting you back into the country.”
Paul Burrell has been a controversial figure since Diana’s death in 1997, having featured in the media and television reality shows.
He famously called Diana “lonely” and “desperate” while appearing on the UK TV show Big Brother.