Harry and Meghan: An African Journey airs tonight at 7pm on TVNZ 1.

A journalist has claimed that before she became the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle "begged her" to get her in the tabloids.

The Mail on Sunday's columnist Katie Hind told The Sun she met Markle in 2013, after Markle "hounded" her for a meeting.

"Keen to make a name in Britain, her UK publicist had all but begged me - then a show business journalist for a red-top newspaper - to meet the actress for a drink," she told The Sun.

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"It soon became clear that Meghan was determined to raise her profile — even if it was with an inconsequential 80-word piece tagged onto the end of my weekly column."

Hind explained Markle was "very grateful" for the networking opportunity, and hugged her at the end of their meeting - which is why she was shocked by Meghan's latest claims that she's been "surprised by the unrelenting media attention."

Meghan says she struggles with scrutiny on her and Harry. Video / itv

Hind also claimed Markle asked for her advice on how to win over soccer player Ashley Cole - but that she warned her away from the infamous footballer, explaining how cheating allegations had hounded his marriage to Cheryl.

According to the journalist, Markle was disappointed with the advice.

"I felt bad that I had crushed her dream of becoming a WAG".