Prince Harry interview: more viewers watched Happy Valley on BBC than Duke of Sussex

Around 4.1 million people tuned into ITV as Prince Harry sat down with Tom Bradby for a 90-minute conversation about his new memoir Spare

Watch more of our videos on Shots!
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Prince Harry’s highly-anticipated interview with ITV aired last night - however, more viewers were tuned into the BBC for Happy Valley, viewing figures have revealed.

The Duke of Sussex sat down to speak to Tom Bradby about the bombshell revelations recently made public ahead of the publicaion of his memoir Spare. After copies of the book were leaked, many private moments between him and his family, notably including Prince William, hit the headlines over the past week.

However, the interview, which was expected to draw in a high number of viewers, was actually beaten by BBC’s hit drama Happy Valley. Around 4.1 million people watched as Harry spoke frankly about private family moments, while 5.3million viewers watched the Sarah Lancashire-led drama on BBC One.

Happy Valley, which premiered in 2014, has become one of the BBC’s most popular dramas to date. It returned for its third and final series on New Years’ Day, with the second epsiode airing at the same time as ITV’s interview with Prince Harry.

The interview saw Bradby ask the Duke of Sussex about many controversial topics, including his alleged claims that the Royal Family were racist. The claims first came to light when Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, were interviewed by Oprah Winfrey.

ITV has said that the interview, which aired on Sunday 8 January at 9pm, hit a peak of 4.6million viewers, with an average of 4.2million people tuned in. This was across live television and ITV’s streaming hub ITVX.

Harry plays down ‘racism’ allegation

During the interview, Harry appeared to play down the racism claims which had been allegedly made in the March 2021 interview with Oprah Winfrey. The couple told the veteran US host that members of the Royal Family had raised concerns over the colour of their then-unborn son Archie’s skin

When Bradby brought the claims up, Harry quickly interjected saying: “No, I didn’t… the British press said that… did Meghan ever mention that they’re racist? … There was concern about his skin colour.

Bradby asked: “Wouldn’t you describe that as essentially racist?”, to which Harry replied: “I wouldn’t, not having lived within that family. Going back to the difference between what my understanding is because of my own experience, the difference between racism and unconscious bias, the two things are different.”

He also delved into his strained relationship with William, describing an event in which his brother allegedly physically attacked him during an argument about Meghan. The interview also covered his reaction to his mother’s death in 1997, and a reunion with family members after the death of the Queen in September 2022.