Prince Andrew interview wins Maitlis RTS award

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Emily Maitlis has been named network presenter of the year at the Royal Television Society Awards, for her interview with the Duke of York.

The Newsnight host quizzed Prince Andrew at Buckingham Palace in November over his relationship with the now deceased sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

The broadcast also won interview and scoop of the year, while Newsnight won daily news programme of the year.

The prince withdrew from public duties in the wake of the broadcast.

The judges at Wednesday's awards ceremony in London described Maitlis's interview as historic.

"In a year of political chaos, her nose for nonsense led to bruising encounters with politicians and her interview with a member of the Royal family will live on in history," they said.

media captionPrince Andrew: Epstein 'a constant sore in the family'

Speaking after her win, the presenter thanked the prince for allowing himself through the type of "scrutiny" that "many politicians haven't and wouldn't".

"It wasn't actually about the royal," she said.

"It was an interview for women watching around the world, who were waiting to see if we asked the right questions at the right moment to things that we needed answering."

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'Major disruption'

In 2015, Prince Andrew was named in court papers as part of a US civil case against Epstein - who took his own life while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges.

In November, following the interview, he announced he had asked the Queen for permission to withdraw from official royal duties for the "foreseeable future", because the Epstein scandal had become a "major disruption" to the Royal Family.

He said he deeply sympathised with sex offender Epstein's victims and everyone who "wants some form of closure".

The duke faced a backlash following the BBC interview about his friendship with the US financier.

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image captionEmily Maitlis beat BBC colleague Victoria Derbyshire and ITV News' Tom Bradby to the top presenter award

Maitlis fended off competition at the RTS awards from ITN's Tom Bradby for his interview with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in Harry & Meghan: An African Journey.

She also beat her BBC colleague Victoria Derbyshire, who was nominated a month after it was announced her self-titled daily show was to be cut.

Writing on Twitter at the time, Derbyshire said she was "unbelievably proud" of what the show had achieved.

Overall, the BBC won in 12 of the 19 categories, followed by Sky News in five.

News channel of the year was won by Sky News, while Channel 4 News' "outstanding" For Sama (which won the best documentary Bafta and was also Oscar-nominated) took the award for best international current affairs programme.

The domestic version of the same award went to the BBC's Spotlight on The Troubles: A Secret History.

Broadcast journalist Christiane Amanpour won the outstanding contribution award.

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