An invasion by Middle Eastern royalty was not something that this year’s City journalism MA students had bargained for when starting the course.
But that’s what they got in October, when a man claiming to be an Arab prince sauntered to the front of one of Roy Greenslade’s ethics lectures.
— Lara Williams (@_lararwilliams_) October 9, 2017
A video obtained by XCity Plus shows the prankster, dressed in a red and white headscarf and brown robe, demanding that Greenslade shake his hand in front of the 300-strong audience. He said: “I am a prince. Nobody disrespects a prince.”
The ex-Daily Mirror editor, 71, was resolute, saying, “I disrespect all princes,” before telling him to leave.
The “prince” turned to the audience, but his claim was met with shouts of “sit down” and “get out”. Realising that his time in the limelight was up, the invader pulled out a phone and spoke to an unknown accomplice, saying, “Abdul, fire up the jets,” as he left the room.
Later that month, Greenslade tweeted to correct a Private Eye report on the incident, which claimed that he was “panic-stricken” as the invader approached.
Paul Lashmar, another City lecturer, who was in the audience, tweeted: “Roy’s handling of what could have been a very nasty episode was impressive. He was calm and commanding and defused the situation.”
Roy’s handling of what could have been a very nasty episode was impressive. He was calm and commanding and defused the situation. I was a bystander.
— plashmar (@plashmar) November 16, 2017
Read more about this story in April’s print edition of XCity.
Video: Lara Williams, MA Interactive Journalism.