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Ratings hit Over 800k tune in to watch Meghan and Harry's bombshell interview on RTE

RTE had come under fire for buying the Irish rights for the interview despite insiders revealing they had snapped it up for a bargain basement price of less than €10,000.

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Harry and Meghan with Oprah Winfrey (ITV Hub/Harpo Productions/CBS/PA)

Harry and Meghan with Oprah Winfrey (ITV Hub/Harpo Productions/CBS/PA)

Harry and Meghan with Oprah Winfrey (ITV Hub/Harpo Productions/CBS/PA)

RTE's controversial decision to buy the Irish rights for Oprah Winfrey’s jaw-dropping interview with Meghan and Harry has paid off, after nearly three-quarters of a million people tuned in to watch the two-hour special last night.

A total of 725,000 Irish viewers, with 53.5 per cent share, watched the much-talked about interview that went out on RTE2 at 9.30pm, with 100,000 streaming it on the RTÉ Player.

RTE had come under fire for buying the Irish rights for the interview despite insiders revealing they had snapped it up for a bargain basement price of less than €10,000.

And it has proved a massive ratings success with the primetime special particularly popular among the 15-34 age category with 64 per cent share, for Irish viewers.

The national broadcaster screened the interview half an hour after it began on ITV in the UK.

This was nearly 24 hours after the controversial chat first aired in America on the CBS network.

The British rights sparked off a bidding war with the BBC pulling out when it surpassed £1 million (€1,160,000).

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Harry and Meghan with son Archie  (Toby Melville/PA)

Harry and Meghan with son Archie (Toby Melville/PA)

Harry and Meghan with son Archie (Toby Melville/PA)

ITV’s exclusive UK broadcast was watched by a peak audience of 12.4 million viewers - their biggest peak audience since the 2019 Rugby World Cup Final and the biggest on any channel [outside government, pandemic-related announcements] since the Strictly Come Dancing final on BBC One in December.

The interview was again hugely popular among young viewers with four out of five aged 16-34 tuning in - a peak of 2.5m, and average of 2.1m. This was the biggest 16-34 TV audience for overnight viewing, outside of news programming, since I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here last year.

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The Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge, the Duchess of Cambridge, the Duchess of Sussex and the Duke of Sussex in 2018 (Joe Giddens/PA)

The Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge, the Duchess of Cambridge, the Duchess of Sussex and the Duke of Sussex in 2018 (Joe Giddens/PA)

The Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge, the Duchess of Cambridge, the Duchess of Sussex and the Duke of Sussex in 2018 (Joe Giddens/PA)

And 2.2m viewers streamed the programme on ITV Hub.

Viewers watched as Winfrey was left open-mouthed when the duchess – the first mixed-race member of the modern monarchy – said a fellow royal was worried about how dark their son Archie’s skin tone might be before he was born.

Pressure is mounting on Buckingham Palace to respond to the accusations of racism in the royal family following the explosive interview by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Reports today suggest that crisis talks are likely to have been held since the couple’s sit-down with Oprah Winfrey was aired.

Palace officials reportedly had a prepared statement highlighting the family’s love and concern for the couple, but it was not signed off by the monarch.

The Times newspaper reported that the Queen wanted more time to consider her response to the lengthy interview.

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