When the 2019 Newsnight interview finally blew up the time bomb that was Prince Andrew’s friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, not all of the pieces came back down to Earth in the same place. The interview that the Duke of York’s team were hoping would charm the public and rid him of his “Randy Andy” reputation achieved the opposite. Viewers found Prince Andrew to be callous and unsympathetic, while his denials of wrongdoing failed to convince many.

What followed were legal proceedings, a substantial out-of-court settlement, and a great many job resignations. From the prince to his team and the journalists behind the interview, here’s where the major players as featured in Netflix’s Scoop were left.

Prince Andrew

Days after the Newsnight interview aired, the Duke of York issued a statement announcing that his request to step back from public duties had been granted by HM the Queen, on account of his former association with Jeffrey Epstein having become a “major disruption” to the work of the royal family and the organisations and charities he supported. In that statement, the prince also did what he had failed to do in the interview itself and offered deep sympathy for Epstein’s victims.

After one of those victims, Virginie Giuffre, initiated legal proceedings against Prince Andrew in August 2021, the palace issued another statement in January 2022 to announce that the prince would defend the case as a private citizen and had returned his Royal patronages and military affiliations to the Queen.

Later that year, Andrew (played in Scoop by Rufus Sewell) paid Giuffre’s non-profit organisations an out-of-court financial settlement of an undisclosed sum reported to be between £3 million and $16 million. In January 2023, months before the coronation of his brother Charles, it was rumoured that Andrew was seeking to reverse that settlement and return to royal duties but no official statement has been issued to that effect.

Sam McAlister

After a decade at Newsnight, in July 2021 McAlister, who had attended Edinburgh University and trained as a barrister before switching to a career in journalism, took voluntary redundancy from the BBC.

Her memoir Scoops, telling the story of her professional achievements as a guest booker for the BBC news programme, was published a year later in July 2022. McAlister sold the option on her memoir first for the making of a two-part documentary Andrew: The Problem Prince, which aired in May 2023; and then for the Netflix film Scoop, in which she’s played by Billie Piper.

As announced at the end of that film, McAlister “is now a senior visiting fellow at the London School of Economics – teaching negotiation.” In November 2023, she delivered a TEDx Talk in Newcastle on the subject of the Prince Andrew Newsnight interview.

Emily Maitlis

After 20 years at the BBC, the journalist and broadcaster who interviewed Prince Andrew in November 2019 announced her departure from the corporation in February 2022. Maitlis (played in Scoop by Gillian Anderson) and colleague John Sopel signed with Global, the parent company of talk radio station LBC, starting podcast The News Agents and a radio show.

Six months after Maitlis’ exit from the BBC was confirmed, she delivered the annual McTaggart Lecture at the 2022 Edinburgh International Television Festival (see above), in which she warned against government interference in BBC editorial policy.

Jae Donnelly

Freelance paparazzo/photojournalist Jae Donnelly (played in Scoop by Connor Swindells) took the long lens photograph of Prince Andrew walking with Jeffrey Epstein in Central Park in December 2010. Donnelly was still based in New York City in June 2020, when he wrote this article for The Daily Mail alleging that he was beaten by NYPD and had his photography equipment smashed while documenting a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest.

Amanda Thirsk

Having pushed for Prince Andrew to agree to the interview, it’s not surprising that the royal parted ways with his private secretary Amanda Thirsk during its fallout. Thirsk (played in Scoop by Keeley Hawes) was listed by Companies House as a director of Pitch@Palace Innovations Ltd until her resignation in October 2020. In February 2024, Sky News reported that the former banker was now working in a senior role for Chinese e-commerce company JD.com, which is reported to be in talks to take over UK high street electronics chain Currys.

Esme Wren

In November 2021, two years after Newsnight editor Esme Wren (played in Scoop by Romola Garai) oversaw the Prince Andrew interview, she left the programme after her three-year tenure as editor, and the BBC as a whole, to become the editor of Channel 4 news.

Stewart Maclean

After working as Newsnight deputy and assistant editor for over five years, Stewart Maclean was made programme editor in January 2022. He unexpectedly resigned from the position less than two years later in October 2023 and took up a new position as BBC World News Content’s Africa bureau chief, located in Nairobi, Kenya. In an email to colleagues, Maclean cited personal family reasons behind his decision to leave at a time when major budgetary cuts were being faced by Newsnight and the BBC.

Scoop is streaming now on Netflix.

The post Netflix’s Scoop: What Happened Next? appeared first on Den of Geek.

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