The Royalist

01.29.12

U.S. TV Heavyweights Wrestle for First Pippa Middleton Interview

Oprah, Barbara Walters, and NBC are dangling six-figure sums to land the first interview with the future queen's sister. But how does that jibe with her privacy complaints?

Pippa Middleton is the subject of a TV bidding war, with Oprah Winfrey and Barbara Walters both hoping to land the future queen’s sister for her first full-length interview, according to a report in the U.K.
today. 

The Sunday Mirror claims that bids as high as $450,000 have already been tabled.

Insiders at Oprah Winfrey Network told the Sunday Mirror that Oprah has ordered her team to “pull out all the stops” to land the Pippa exclusive.

The Duchess of Cambridge’s sister, who edits the blog for her parents' online party-planning company, Party Pieces, inked a $500,000 deal to write a book about putting on parties last year. Her publisher, Penguin, is expected to set up an exclusive deal for an interview. The Mirror reports that the money may be going to charity to avoid accusations of cashing in.

According to the Mirror, ABC’s Walters is seeking approval for a six-figure deal for the chat, while NBC is pushing Matt Lauer as the man for the job, following his interview with William and Harry in 2007. One source said: “The big guns of U.S. TV see Pippa as the big-name interview of 2012. They are offering money as a charity donation, too, so that Pippa wouldn’t be seen as cashing in on her book.”

A big TV deal in the U.S., however, would inevitably create yet more interest in Pippa, and would appear to be in conflict with her recent complaints about the level to which her privacy has been invaded by dozens of freelance paparazzi camped outside her house.

Last week, Pippa’s lawyers sent letters to a half-dozen photographic agencies that syndicate the pictures worldwide on behalf of the paparazzi photographers, warning them that their behavior constituted harassment.

“The big guns of U.S. TV see Pippa as the big-name interview of 2012.”

The letter described her “serious distress and anxiety” and suggested that her lawyers had themselves been collating photographic evidence against the photographers concerned. “It is extremely intimidating to our client to have to face a group of unknown men outside her home and office who pursue her both day and night,” the letter read.

Is Pippa a private citizen who became an accidental celebrity and should now be left alone as she tells friends? Or do her commercial dealings and self-promotion make her a bona fide subject for the global media? Primetime TV coverage to promote her book in the U.S., even if the money does go to charity, will make those questions even harder to answer.