Virgin Media bosses may have shelled out close to €1,000 to shuttle Ian Bailey to studio
- Ken Sweeney, Showbiz Editor
- 8:00, 11 Sep 2021
VIRGIN Media bosses may have shelled out close to €1,000 to shuttle chief Sophie Toscan du Plantier murder suspect Ian Bailey to their Ballymount HQ for a controversial interview to be aired next Monday night.
Bailey has always denied any involvement in her death and maintained his innocence.
The Irish Sun can reveal that while the journalist, 64, got no fee for his Big Interview with host Colette Fitzpatrick, TV bosses paid for him to be chauffeur driven from his home in Schull, West Cork, to Dublin.
He was returned to his home 48 hours later in a round trip of 708km.
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Bailey told The Irish Sun: “I didn’t receive any fee from Virgin Media for the interview but my travel expenses were paid pro bono.”
Virgin Media have declined to give a cost for Bailey’s round trip. However, one taxi source said a trip from Schull to Dublin would cost €525.80 — with the fare including a return coming to nearly €1,000.
The source said: “Individuals can bargain with a driver on the cost of such a big fare.
“But for something like a TV interview, and cameras waiting in Dublin, I’d say getting him up there in time was paramount.”
Virgin Media did not respond to a request for comment on Ian Bailey’s travel expenses.
While refusing to comment on the contents of the chat which was filmed this week, Bailey said it was triggered by Sophie’s son Pierre Louis Baudey’s appearance on The Late Late Show.
Bailey told us: “I was invited up by Virgin Media to do an interview and I facilitated that.”
- IAN Bailey: The Big Interview’ airs on Monday September 13 at 9pm on Virgin Media One.
“If my own theory is correct, and I can’t say too much about it – the murderer is dead.”
Ian Bailey has claimed that he knows who killed Sophie Toscan du Plantier, adding that he believed the murderer is already “dead”.
Last week Sophie’s son, Pierre-Louis Baudey-Vignaud, called for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to put Bailey on trial in Ireland while speaking on Friday night’s edition of The Late Late Show.
Following the interview, Bailey told Newstalk on Wednesday that while he is “very, very sorry for the pain and suffering that Pierre-Louis and the family have gone through” he believes holding him responsible is “just ridiculous at this stage.”
“I just think it’s really sad for everybody… and it’s all based on a dirty, rotten stinking lie from day one that I’m somehow connected to this crime. It’s 25 years on and it’s exacting its toll on a lot of people,” he said.
Bailey added that he has his own “theory” as to who killed Toscan du Plantier, saying that they passed away “quite a long time ago”.
“Is the killer still alive? I keep seeing this reference, the fact that the killer I think – if my own theory is correct, and I can’t say too much about it – the murderer is dead and has quite a long time ago passed away,” Bailey said.
“I don’t absolutely 100% know… my belief is that the murderer is probably dead – but that’s a belief, I can’t prove that”.
Clip via The Late Late Show
Baudey-Vignaud said on Friday: “It’s been 25 years. The truth has not arrived yet. We must end this story, for me, for my mother, for Irish people.”
“Irish people, you have a murderer still living in Ireland,” he added, calling on the extradition of Bailey for a trial in France.
Bailey has maintained his innocence in regard to the murder of French filmmaker Sophie Toscan Du Plantier after first hitting headlines as a suspect in the case.
The brutal murder, which took place in the town of Schull in west Cork in 1996, triggered one of the biggest murder investigations Ireland had ever seen and became a national obsession.
Over the past quarter of a century, facts and information about the death of Sophie Toscan du Plantier are still being released to the public, with most people in Ireland able to give a broad strokes retelling of the murder.
In 2019, a French Court found Bailey guilty of voluntary homicide, sentencing him to 25 years in prison.
Ireland didn’t extradite Bailey due to a Supreme Court ruling in 2012 that the Irish extraterritorial provision was not the equivalent of the French legislation and therefore they were not reciprocal.
Bailey was not present for the French trial after winning the legal battle against his extradition.