Richard Madeley sparks uproar for 'ridiculous' Prince Andrew probe as he's accused of painting royal 'as a victim'

Richard Madeley sparks uproar for 'ridiculous' Prince Andrew probe as he's accused of painting royal 'as a victim'

WATCH HERE: Netflix releases trailer for Prince Andrew Newsnight drama, Scoop

Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 27/03/2024

- 12:02

The TV presenter interviewed actor Rufus Sewell on Wednesday morning ahead of Netflix's drama, Scoop

Richard Madeley has come under fire for his line of questioning to actor Rufus Sewell ahead of the new Netflix film, Scoop.

Scoop is a new drama centred on Prince Andrew's infamous Newsnight interview with Emily Maitlis, in which Sewell will play the part of the royal.

The 2019 interview hit headlines across the globe as the prince was grilled on his ties to convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

Scoop is inspired by Newsnight producer Sam McAlister’s memoir Scoops: Behind The Scenes of the BBC’s Most Shocking Interviews in which she detailed the measures taken to secure the interview as well as the fallout.

Sewell stars opposite the likes of Billie Piper and Gillian Anderson in the Netflix drama and he joined Madeley and his co-star Susanna Reid to discuss the project on Wednesday.

However, one of Madeley's questions has sparked controversy after he put to the 56-year-old actor: "Andrew has really suffered since this.

Rufus Sewell as Prince Andrew

Rufus Sewell as Prince Andrew in new Netflix drama, Scoop


"A lot of people say that’s his own fault, his actions, his decision to do the interview, his foolishness in thinking the interview had gone well and sanctioning it, and the fact it had gone terribly, etc.

"But do you feel a little bit of pity for him?" Madeley asked before he caveated: "In these dramas - there's your drama and there's another one being made about this as well - are these dramas, do you feel to some extent, we’re beginning to rub his face into this a bit too hard?

"I’m not suggesting that we are, I’m just asking if you think that we might be."

Sewell answered Madeley's probe about the royal: "No. It’s a very good question. It’s one of the reasons I was so hesitant about taking [the role], because I don’t want to be like jumping on some bandwagon because I think it’s always important to remember, whatever someone is going through, however high up or low down they are, these are humans.

Prince Andrew

Prince Andrew took part in a 2019 Newsnight interview to address his ties to Jeffrey Epstein


"And that people are a product of their circumstances. For me, one of the concerns was wanting to do a truthful representation of him, which included him at his best as well as his worst because people are a mixed bag.

"So when I watched the interview, I was always very conscious of watching footage of him when he was younger or even in more recent times... People said, 'He's great with people', and you can see evidence in this that that's true and I think my responsibility to the actual film and to any human that you're playing is to show the light and dark and we all have both."

But while Sewell was receptive to Madeley's questioning, viewers at home were less so as many took to social media to accuse the GMB presenter of "painting Andrew as a victim".

"Trust Richard to sit there trying to paint Prince Andrew as the victim! GMB & Loose Women have already given Fergie a platform where she’s said he’s a wonderful man. #gmb #GoodMorningBritain," one irked viewer penned on X.

Richard Madeley

Richard Madeley has been accused of trying to 'paint Prince Andrew as a victim'


A second echoed that they could "barely believe what I'm watching here" as they claimed Madeley was trying to "rehabilitate" Andrew's image and branded the probe "repulsive".

While a third hit out: "Richard Madeley suggesting Prince Andrew is the victim, maybe we’ve been too harsh on him and makes no mention of his alleged victims. Outrageous @GMB #GoodMorningBritain."

Meanwhile, the ITV show posted a clip of the question on its own X account where it was met with a similar reaction.

"Madeley needs to go. He is a complete embarrassment," one person replied before a second fumed: "Sympathy, are you for real @richardm56."

"Does someone get up really early to write stupid questions for GM Britain? I mean there seems to be a lot of instances of completely mindless drivel being asked on this show these days - my cat could ask better questions," a third asked before a fourth blasted: "What a completely ridiculous question to ask, why would anyone feel pity for Andrew?" (sic)

Prince Andrew has repeatedly denied any criminal wrongdoing when it comes to his ties with Epstein.

Scoop will premiere on Netflix on April 5.

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