WATCH: Netflix's 'Scoop' uncovers the drama surrounding Prince Andrew's controversial interview

Britain's Prince Andrew the Duke of York. Picture: JEAN-CHRISTOPHE BOTT / EPA

Britain's Prince Andrew the Duke of York. Picture: JEAN-CHRISTOPHE BOTT / EPA

Published Apr 8, 2024


“Scoop”, which premiered on Netflix this weekend, was inspired by Sam McAlister’s 2023 book “Scoops”.

In November 2019, amid the Jeffrey Epstein drama, Prince Andrew agreed to an interview with Emily Maitlis on “Newsnight,” a BBC current events programme.

In the opening scenes of “Scoop”, the BBC announced 450 job cuts among the news staff and, like many newsrooms across the globe, the Newsnight newsroom was already short-staffed. Much of the action takes place in the newsroom.

The 2019 interview led directly to Andrew’s withdrawal from royal duties. The Netflix version focuses on the journalists securing an exclusive news story. But what happened behind the scenes is just as riveting.

The behind-the-scenes story is told from the point of view of Newsnight’s interview booker, Sam McAlister. Played by Billie Piper, McAlister is the outsider who struggles to be taken seriously.

“Scoop” reveals the events leading up to and during the famous interview, and is a reminder of the power of the one-to-one interview where the subject has nowhere to hide from a well-informed investigative journalist.

After Epstein’s arrest, McAlister convinces Prince Andrew’s private secretary Amanda Thirsk that Prince Andrew could clear his name on television. The “Newsnight” team had only 72 hours to prepare.

The conversation was disastrous for the British royal, who attempted to refute allegations that he’d had sex with a 17-year-old girl trafficked by his friend and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

Prince Andrew’s bizarre responses, including a claim that he was unable to sweat, became global headlines and public anger destroyed his reputation and position in the royal family.

Gillian Anderson, who plays Emily Maitlis, gives us a small glimpse into Maitlis’ brilliance as an interviewer.

Advised, just before the cameras roll, to go for the jugular, Maitlis is shown role-playing the interview, in which she allows the over-indulged and spoilt Andrew to hang himself.

“Scoop” is highly watchable, and reveals what we already suspected about the character of the late queen’s favourite child.

IOL Entertainment