- Film & TV
- 07 Feb 23
Gillian Anderson, Rufus Sewell and Billie Piper have all secured a place in the cast of the upcoming Netflix drama.
Scoop is the upcoming Netflix film on Prince Andrew’s scandalous 2019 BBC Newsnight interview.
Sex Education’s Gillian Anderson joins the cast as Emily Maitlis, the former lead presenter of Newsnight, and interviewer of the now infamous television broadcast. Rufus Sewell joins Anderson, depicting the role of the now disgraced prince.
BAFTA-nominated Keeley Hawes will play the part of Amanda Thirsk- the former private secretary to Prince Andrew, along with fellow nominee Billie Piper, who joins the cast in the role of Sam McAlister- the booking agent who secured the infamous interview. McAlister's memoir, Scoops: Behind The Scenes of the BBC's Most Shocking Interviews, is also the basis for the film.
Philip Martin is the drama’s director, whose former projects include The Crown, Prime Suspect, Wallander, and Mo.
The forthcoming film will account for the inner workings of both the Palace and BBC- the twin bastions of the British establishment, and focuses on the bravery and strength displayed by the journalists willing to expose the inner sanctum and calculations of a man with everything to lose. From navigating Palace vetoes, to securing the actual interview itself, and everything in between which includes the high stakes negotiating, intensity of rehearsals, infiltrating the Prince’s inner circle, Scoop tracks what led up to the catastrophic fall from grace of The Queen’s ‘Favourite son’.
Gillian Anderson, Keeley Hawes, Billie Piper and Rufus Sewell will star in SCOOP – a film based on Sam McAlister’s memoir giving the inside account of Newsnight’s bombshell interview with Prince Andrew. pic.twitter.com/OibWwtrTio
— Netflix UK & Ireland (@NetflixUK) February 7, 2023
Speaking on the drama in progress, Sam McAlister says, “It is beyond my wildest dreams, especially as a first time writer, to end up working with this extraordinary cast, Netflix, and the amazing teams at The Lighthouse and Voltage. Watching Billie Piper, one of my favourite actresses, play “me” will be a pinch myself moment and I’m truly thrilled to be involved in this film.”
Adding to this, director Martin continues, “I’m thrilled to be directing this film for Netflix and - together with an extraordinary cast - to be bringing Sam McAlister’s revelatory insider’s account to the screen. Uptempo, immersive and cinematic, I want to put the audience inside the breath-taking sequence of events that led to the interview with Prince Andrew - to tell a story about a search for answers, in a world of speculation and varying recollections. It’s a film about power, privilege and differing perspectives and how - whether in glittering palaces or hi-tech newsrooms - we judge what’s true.”
Prince Andrew retreated from the public sphere following the widespread scrutiny for his lack of compassion towards paedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s victims, his lack of remorse for this former friendship with the financier and the swirling sexual assault allegations surrounding him.
Andrew was accused of having sex with Virgina Giuffre, who said she was trafficked by Epstein on three separate occasions, including when she was 17 - still a minor under US law- a claim he denied in the 2019 tense exchange.
Giuffre has previously claimed that one of their encounters began with the prince sweating heavily on the dance floor of London’s Tramp nightclub. The prince took to Newsnight in the upcoming dramatisation to deny those claims, telling Maitlis he had a medical condition at the time which meant he did not sweat, adding that he had no recollection of ever meeting Giuffre.
He also profusely insisted in the interview that he was accompanying his daughter to a party in a Pizza Express in Surrey on the night in question.
Ruled as suicide by New York's chief medical examiner, Epstein was found dead in his prison cell in August of 2019 while awaiting his sex trafficking charges trial.
The second son of Queen Elizabeth II settled the civil sexual assault suit with Giuffre for millions of US dollars.
Produced by Hilary Salmon and Radford Neville for The Lighthouse Film & Television, with Sanjay Singhal for Voltage TV, Scoop’s release date is predicted for sometime in late 2023 or early 2024.
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