Behold, a lesson in how not to interview Prince Charles. Forty years ago the Prince of Wales was appearing on Australian music show Countdown (not to be confused with Channel 4’s cerebral contest) to be interviewed by host Ian “Molly” Meldrum.
But while the young Prince looked calm and composed, his interviewer was the opposite. Meldrum – a prolific TV personality in Australia at the time – proceeded to have a meltdown on stage as he struggled to introduce his royal guest, an episode that has remained firmly in Charles’ memory ever since.
“There is an old showbiz saying which warns never to work with animals or children but nobody prepared me for Molly Meldrum,” the Prince recalls.
Countdown may have come off air in 1987, but the show is celebrating its 40th anniversary and asked the Prince to reflect on the excruciating interview. “Was it really forty years ago? It seems like only yesterday. I wish it were tomorrow, I’d cancel it,” he quips.
“I certainly learned some interesting new Australian words from Mr Meldrum and if he could have read my mind he would have learned some interesting new English words from me.”
The Prince goes on to show his funny side, gamely re-enacting the toe-curling series of events, before adding: “Congratulations to Countdown. It was an evening I will never forget and a special thank you to Molly Meldrum. Countdown. Gone but not forgotten.”