Watching brief - Amanda Platell denounces Prince William

Prince William, slaughtering pheasant and deer, failing to celebrate D-Day, omitting to visit his dy

The Prince of Wales's new communications secretary may come to regard his rather triumphalist interview with James Naughtie on the Today programme as his first big mistake. I hope for Paddy Harverson's sake he doesn't make many more on that scale. Smug Mr Harverson was gloating over the apology in the Mail on Sunday regarding two stories claiming that Prince William had killed a small deer in Kenya with a spear and an endangered deer in Chile.

William came in for a lot of criticism because of the stories. Harverson explained that the palace will no longer tolerate incorrect stories that reflect badly on the boys and will pursue them through the Press Complaints Commission, as he has done in this case. William was very hurt by the stories, he added.

What puzzles me most is that the prince should be so upset over being portrayed as a callous youth who kills for fun, because that's exactly what he is and always has been. He was blooded at 12, was reported at the time to be "delighted and thrilled" over his first deer kill at 14, and has indulged his love of fox-hunting ever since, not to mention his passion for shooting.

So the sensitive William doesn't want us to think he kills little bambis with spears, but doesn't mind us knowing that he hunts with hounds to rip foxes to pieces, slaughters tens of pheasant in a day's shoot and shoots deer, all for fun.

The petulant young prince is turning out to be a real chip off the old block. At least his father was prepared to accept the royal duties that came with all that privilege. William steadfastly refuses to step up to the job and treats it as a big favour when he deigns to allow the cameras in briefly.

He is a PR disaster and now the monarchy's greatest liability. This is the heir to the throne who couldn't be bothered celebrating D-Day to honour the very men who had fought for king and country. And despite the photo-op and the tears at her funeral, he was noticeably absent from his grandmother Frances Shand Kydd's bedside in the months leading up to her death - even though he was studying nearby in Scotland.

As Mark Bolland, the Prince of Wales's former PR man, discovered before him, Harverson will need a lot of friends in the media to protect this spoiled brat of a prince. He has got off to a very bad start.

No amateur shopper such as myself can quite understand the heartache Barbara Amiel is now suffering at the prospect of no longer being able to indulge "the extravagance that knows no bounds". But you would think at a time like this, when her husband, Lord Black, faces the prospect of jail, she would want to be with him, not here in London. Instead, as Geoffrey Levy pointed out in a devastating Daily Mail profile, Black is in Manhattan trying to save his skin while his wife is here trying to reinvent hers.

When the BBC sacked Robert Kilroy-Silk from his morning television show, everyone thought he was going to be all washed up. Yet the former MP is proving that a decade in daytime does more to prepare a man for politics than a lifetime on the green benches.

Anyone who has ever been a guest on Kilroy, as I have, knows what a bearpit of a show it was. An hour in there was worse than any savaging I ever got in politics. It was a circus and Kilroy was the ringmaster, as cunning as a lion-tamer and as agile as a tightrope walker.

Now he brings those skills to politics. By comparison, the rest of them look like amateurs - especially on TV. He has done what the left and right have attempted for some time: taking the yah-boo out of politics and talking to ordinary people in a language and manner they understand.

So who will be next to make it from the small box to the big political stage? Trisha Goddard, the queen of toe-rag TV, is threatening to quit ITV. I can see it now - Tory Trisha on the front benches, running a nice sideline in DNA paternity tests for the abandoned partners of MPs.

I bumped into Jonathan Freedland at Sky the other day and thought for a moment it was his younger, more handsome brother. No - just Freedland Lite, after losing nearly two stone. I picked up the Guardian the following day and there he was on the front, Fatty Freedland. Get your byline picture changed at once.

A magical set of pictures appeared in the Mail on Sunday's Night and Day of the footballer Wayne Rooney's fiancee, Colleen McLoughlin. The magic was in making a girl who looks like Kat Slater's long-lost sister appear classy.

Ms McLoughlin dropped out of sixth-form college before commencing her A-levels, the demands of being a footballer's girlfriend proving too stressful. How can a girl find time to have her acrylic toenails done and study?

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