Emily Maitlis tries to get Sarah Ferguson on to Newsnight for grilling

EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Now Emily Maitlis tries to lure Sarah Ferguson on to Newsnight for grilling… after THAT car-crash interview with her ex-husband Prince Andrew

Newsnight star Emily Maitlis could never be accused of lacking chutzpah.

After her interview with Prince Andrew forced him to ‘step back from public duties’, Maitlis is apparently now trying to lure his former wife, Sarah, Duchess of York, on to TV.


Newsnight star Emily Maitlis could never be accused of lacking chutzpah. After her interview with Prince Andrew forced him to ‘step back from public duties’, Maitlis is apparently now trying to lure his former wife, Sarah, Duchess of York, on to TV

Pictured is Emily Maitliss interviewing Prince Andrew on Newsnight 

I hear that Samantha McAlister, the same Newsnight producer who organised Maitlis’s interview with Andrew, contacted Fergie’s spokesman James Henderson this week in an attempt to persuade her to agree to the chat.

Henderson confirms McAlister’s overtures, but declines to comment. Fergie is often accused of lacking judgment, but on this occasion she gave a polite but firm ‘no’.

Comic John Cleese has been married four times and all his wives look like blonde plastic dolls — that’s the rather unkind opinion of fellow Python Terry Gilliam.

The pair first met when Cleese’s university theatrical club, the Cambridge Footlights, visited Gilliam’s native America.

‘I got John to appear in a photo story in the magazine I was editing,’ Gilliam says. ‘It was about a man who falls in love with his daughter’s Barbie doll and I got John to play the man.

‘The odd thing is, I think it had such an effect on him.

‘All of his subsequent wives looked like Barbie dolls.’

Comic John Cleese has been married four times and all his wives look like blonde plastic dolls — that’s the rather unkind opinion of fellow Python Terry Gilliam

They are both American divorcees who quit Britain after marrying into the Royal Family. But how far do the comparisons go between the Duchess of Sussex and the Duchess of Windsor?

Very far, according to publishing giant HarperCollins, which has brought forward by six weeks the U.S. publication of Anna Pasternak’s biography of Wallis Simpson, who caused the 1936 Abdication crisis.

And the title has been changed from Untitled: The Real Wallis Simpson to The American Duchess.

‘This semi-abdication of Meghan and Harry is an echo of the Windsors,’ Pasternak tells me. ‘But Meghan appears to be showing less respect and deference for the monarchy. The crucial difference is that Meghan wants Harry out, while Wallis wanted Edward to stay in.’

How far do the comparisons go between the Duchess of Sussex and the Duchess of Windsor?

The late Earl of Snowdon’s life took many twists and turns, but even the celebrated photographer would have struggled to compete with his former confidante Marjorie Wallace, who has just become engaged at the age of 77.

I can reveal that the broadcaster and charity campaigner is to marry television shopping tycoon and ardent Brexiteer John Mills, 81, who donated millions to the Labour Party.

‘At our stage in life so many people are having memorial services and funerals, so we thought we’d buck the trend,’ Marjorie tells me. ‘My previous marriage was a register office affair and I’d like a nice white wedding in a church.’

Marjorie’s first husband was psychoanalyst Count Andrzej Skarbek, while John’s wife, the former Director of Public Prosecutions Dame Barbara Mills, died in 2011.

Boris Johnson’s father Stanley is among the guests expected at their engagement party tonight, when the couple will sing a version of the folk song Oh No John with personalised lyrics by Esther Rantzen.

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