Netflix has announced the star-studded casting for a dramatisation of Prince Andrew’s infamous Newsnight interview, including Rufus Sewell as the disgraced royal.
Prince Andrew spoke to Emily Maitlis on the primetime BBC programme in 2019 amid concerns about his reported connection to sex criminal Jeffrey Epstein.
In the conversation, Andrew denied having any sort of relationship with Virginia Guiffre, who has alleged that Epstein forced her to have sex with the prince in 2001 when she was 17.
Andrew claimed he was at a Pizza Express restaurant in Woking on the evening in question.
Andrew also denied Guiffre’s claims that he was sweating while they danced at a club by claiming that, at the time, he’d temporarily lost the ability to sweat after an “adrenaline overdose” during the Falklands war.
The interview was widely branded a “disaster”.
Since then, Andrew has kept a considerably lower profile and was stripped of his HRH style and honorary military roles by his mother, the late Queen, in January 2022.
In July, it was revealed that the Newsnight interview would be adapted into a Netflix drama film called Scoop by acclaimed screenwriter Steven Moffat.
“How was it that he decided it was a good idea to do a great big long interview with Emily Maitlis on the BBC?” he told Deadline at the time.
Now, the streaming service has detailed the cast involved in the project.
Rufus Sewell will play Andrew, while Gillian Anderson will play Maitlis, Newsnight’s lead host.
Keeley Hawes will star as Amanda Thirsk, Prince Andrew’s private secretary.
Billie Piper has been cast as Sam McAlister, who negotiated the bombshell booking and wrote the 2022 book Scoops: Behind the Scenes of the BBC’s Most Shocking Interviews, upon which the film is based.
In response to this announcement, the real Sam McAlister shared her excitement at the developments on Twitter on Tuesday.
“Thrilled that my book #Scoops is becoming a Netflix film, with an extraordinary cast. Being played by @billiepiper is beyond my wildest dreams,” she wrote.
The release date of Scoop is currently unknown.
In January, The Independent reported that Prince Andrew’s friends believe he risks going down “a lonely path of more legal bills”, as he weighs a bid to overturn the multimillion-pound settlement with Giuffre.
“If he launches the bid, he’s looking at racking up more bills that could push him into debt. It’s a question of whether he has the funds to do that,” a source told The Independent.
He added: “The fear is it could be eye-wateringly expensive and leave him in a money pit.
“It’s a high-risk strategy to go from payout to another to seven-figure sum in an entrenched legal battle. The family is worried whether there could be enough money for it.”