Film Column – Scoop

Based on a memoir by Sam McAlister, it is a riveting watch for anyone hankering after a bit of journalistic film drama.

NEW to Netflix, Scoop tells the story of the now legendary Newsnight interview in 2019 that saw Prince Andrew awkwardly attempt to distance himself from convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

The fictionalised dramatisation, inspired by real events, gives an insider account of how the tenacious women of the BBC’s flagship current affairs programme secured the royal’s earth-shattering interview.

Based on a memoir by Sam McAlister, the former Newsnight producer who booked the interview with a squirming Prince Andrew, it is a riveting watch for anyone hankering after a bit of journalistic film drama.

The interview itself, we’ve all seen at this stage (and it’s there on YouTube for anyone who gets their kicks out of watching British Royals writhe uncomfortably in their seats), but it is the background wheeling and dealing to secure this infamous interview in the first place that is really intriguing.

The cast, which includes Gillian Anderson as the Newsnight journalist who went head to head with Prince Andrew, Billie Piper as Sam McAllister, the producer who negotiated the appearance with Buckingham Palace, and Rufus Sewell as the fumbling prince, are just topnotch.

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The interview itself is pure car crash, but Anderson, and particularly Sewell, who is sensational as the embarrassing Duke of York throughout, bring an intensity to proceedings when they finally get down to the big business at hand.

Across the Irish Sea, one scene towards the end of the film has caused consternation with the bashful Brits. As the interview begins on the Beeb, Prince Andrew sits down to watch his performance but instead decides to have a nice bubble bath to help him unwind. As the interview gets into full swing, his phone starts to ping in the next room as reaction to this trainwreck starts to come in.  As he gets out of the bath to answer his phone, the camera pans to his big wet bare bottom, which hasn’t gone over at all well.

If you can deal with that though, this is a really enjoyable fly-on-the-wall look at how this landmark interview came to pass, bare backsides and all!