Scoop, getting Prince Andrew in the hot seat

Billie Piper in Scoop

Scoop tells the story of the interview by BBC News that forced Prince Andrew to remove himself from royal duties following the arrest and suicide of Jeffrey Epstein. The film was adapted from the book “Scoops” by Sam McAlister and is told from producer Sam McAlister’s (Billie Piper) perspective.

Scoop begins with the BBC announcing cuts. Sam McAlister’s co-workers thought she should be the one cut. They resented her frequent activities out of the office in search of contacts and interview subjects for the news show.

Even before Jeffrey Epstein was arrested, Sam was monitoring Prince Andrew (Rufus Sewell) and his connection to Epstein. She was in touch with the paparazzi Jae Donnelly (Connor Swindells) who got the photo of Epstein and Prince Andrew walking in Central Park. He also sent Sam photos of young girls coming out of Epstein’s New York home – as he put it, there was a never ending stream of them.

Gillian Anderson in Scoop

Sam worked under Esme Wren (Romola Garai). The on air talent, who went everywhere with her whippet alongside, was Emily Maitlis (Gillian Anderson). With permission and encouragement from neither of them, Sam was talking to Prince Andrew’s personal aide Amanda Thirsk (Keeley Hawes) about an interview.

When the Epstein case broke, Esme and Emily were suddenly interested in Sam’s contacts and getting Andrew in front of a camera.

Rufus Sewell, Keeley Hawes, and Charity Wakefield in Scoop

There was a tentative agreement to interview Andrew. The newswomen went to the palace where they met with Amanda Thirsk, Prince Andrew, and Princess Beatrice (Charity Wakefield) to discuss what might take place. The BBC would not agree to avoid any topics nor would they submit questions to him in advance. He knew they wanted to talk about Jeffrey Epstein.

After talking with his ‘mummy,’ The Queen, Andrew agreed to do it.

Prince Andrew looked bad after the interview, and it changed his position and power tremendously. He withdrew from royal duties The Queen stripped him of his military titles and royal patronages.

Rufus Sewell, Keeley Hawes, and Charity Wakefield in Scoop

The poster shows Andrew’s aide (Keeley Hawes) as antagonistic. Actually, she supported and believed in him.

As an American, I don’t pay a lot of attention to the British royals. I was more interested in the American side of the story and Epstein’s actions. The things happening in England at the same time were news to me in Scoop. I’ve read comments from people in England who thought the film fell short, but I got a lot out of it.

I thought there were some nice touches in the film. I especially like the scene where Sam, who had been looking at photos of young girls exiting Epstein’s house, rode home on a bus. In front of her was a group of happy teen age girls having fun. So different from the girls in the photos.

I also liked the way Sam acknowledged the help of her mother Netta McAlister (Amanda Redman) in encouraging her and in helping with her young son.

Like She Said, there were men in the newsroom, but it was women who did the work and broke the story. In the end, Sam’s superiors at the news supported and recognized her as part of the team. I liked the state of solidarity they finally reached.

You can watch Scoop on Netflix.

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