Sam McAlister issues sarcastic response when grilled on Buckingham Palace's reaction to Netflix's Scoop

Sam McAlister issues sarcastic response when grilled on Buckingham Palace's reaction to Netflix's Scoop

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

Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 05/04/2024

- 14:07

The former Newsnight producer was instrumental in setting up Prince Andrew's 2019 interview

Sam McAlister, the former Newsnight booker and author, has shared a tongue-in-cheek response when quizzed on the Royal Family's response to Scoop.

The Netflix movie, which features Billie Piper in the role of McAlister, tells the story of how Newsnight landed Prince Andrew for his now infamous 2019 interview.

Piper is joined by the likes of Rufus Sewell, Keeley Hawes, Gillian Anderson and Connor Swindells and many more in the Scoop cast.

Scoop is based off the memoir Scoops penned by McAlister which detailed how she managed to convince Prince Andrew to face Emily Maitlis on the BBC show.

Andrew faced numerous questions about his ties to convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein and the allegations lodged by Virginia Giuffre. He continues to vehemently deny any wrongdoing.

Speaking on the red carpet ahead of Scoop's release, McAlister was asked whether or not she'd heard from the Palace about her exploits.

Sam McAlister and Billie Piper

Sam McAlister is played by Billie Piper in Scoop


Issuing a sarcastic response, she told Hello!: ""I'm still waiting on my CBE but I'm not sure it's going to happen."

McAlister is hoping people watching Scoop will put one great misconception about the interview aside.

She told Netflix ahead of the release: "I think the greatest misconception about the interview is, 'It just happened'. Some people will probably be thinking. 'Well, I've already seen the interview, why do I want to watch Scoop?'

"But I always get asked a different question once people know I was involved, 'How did this happen?'

WATCH HERE: Netflix blasted for ‘wanting to kill off Royal Family’ with Andrew movie

"That really is the question that this film answers: it's the other 95 percent before the thing that everybody is familiar with. Here we get to put that other 95 percent in a dramatic context."

She also opened up on the filming process and just how much it struck her each time Anderson and Sewell took on the roles of Emily Maitlis and Prince Andrew respectively for the iconic interview.

"I was there, 15 feet behind Prince Andrew, I've been on the set and I must have watched it thousands of times. Each time I'm surprised by the outcome," McAlister admitted.

She added: "I know that sounds kind of strange, but there's almost an incredulity to it: to the fact that he said yes (which is a significant part of our story, of course); to the fact that he went ahead with the interview, and to the fact that these women put all of that together."

So why does McAlister think Andrew ever even agreed to do the Newsnight interview?

She told Netflix: "I think it's three things. First of all, no one thinks they're going to do a bad interview. Secondly, there is an ego element to interviews. Many powerful people think that not only are they not going to do a bad interview, but they're probably going to do an excellent one.

Sam McAlister

Scoop Netflix: Sam McAlister at the premiere


"In his very difficult position, my impression is that he felt he would be able to eradicate the perception of him that had built up over the Epstein scandal by doing this interview."

For the third reason, McAlister delved: "We have a set of skills that people like to call 'soft'. I consider them the hardest skills of all, having worked in this world for a long time.

"And those are empathy and understanding of basic human emotions. This was a man who was now persona non grata. He was the Forgotten Prince, a problem Prince who had gone from a hero to a zero.

"Princess Beatrice was going to get married: he wanted to walk her down the aisle. He was about to turn 60: he wanted to enjoy his birthday. He wanted to go back to the wonderful way of life that he had had.

"I understood that on a human level that was what was going to really motivate him to try and turn his royal life around."

Scoop is available to stream on Netflix now.

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