Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Oprah Winfrey interview ‘won’t air on BBC’

The BBC has dashed Meghan Markle's plans to have her tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey air on Britain's main television channel, it is claimed.

The Duchess of Sussex was reportedly to be keen on her and Prince Harry's 90-minute chat with their TV doyenne pal to attract huge viewing figures on the BBC.

But a source at the public broadcaster on Thursday told the Telegraph that it wasn't interested and won't be "pulling out the chequebook".

ITV has now emerged as a front-runner to win the UK rights to air the couple's first sit-down interview since they were engaged in November 2017.

It comes after it emerged the Queen will address the nation on the BBC hours before the show. The couple last week confirmed they would never return as working royals from their lucrative life in the US.

Their interview is set to begin with a no-holds-barred "intimate" chat between Winfrey and the pregnant Duchess, 39, on stepping into life as a royal to how she is handling "life under intense pressure".

The duo will then be joined by the Duke during the interview which will air on CBS in the US on March 7 at 8pm – 1am in the UK.

It had been claimed that a fierce bidding war was under way for the international rights, with negotiations between Sky and ITV.

A BBC source said the corporation was not involved in negotiations, adding: "We won't be pulling out the chequebook out for this."

The Telegraph understands the BBC could not justify spending such a substantial chunk of taxpayers' cash on the interview, which it would simply cover on news channels.

Neither Netflix nor Amazon are said to have been involved, according to Variety, the Hollywood trade magazine.

The US publication claimed that ViacomCBS Global Distribution Group, which is selling the international rights, was "keen for the interview to land on a free-to-air broadcaster" in the UK.

Variety said that as of yesterday, Sky was thought to be out of the running.

ITV and Sky have been contacted for comment.

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