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This new Netflix movie is perfect for anyone obsessed with the endless British Royal Family drama

Published Mar 19th, 2024 5:43PM EDT
Scoop on Netflix
Image: Peter Mountain/Netflix

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“An hour of television can change everything.” Those are the words of BBC interview booker Sam McAlister, played by Billie Piper in the new Netflix movie Scoop that’s set for an April 5 release. Not only are her words quite prescient, but director Philip Martin’s new movie for the streaming giant basically spends its 101-minute runtime underscoring how right she is — specifically, how Prince Andrew’s infamous and unmitigated disaster of a BBC Newsnight appearance forced him to step back from public duties.

The cast here is superb, with Piper’s McAlister leading the high-stakes interview talks between Buckingham Palace and the BBC, as well as Gillian Anderson portraying journalist Emily Maitlis. Rufus Sewell, meanwhile, is on hand as the shifty-eyed Royal derided as “Randy Andy” and who was in the hot seat over his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein (that relationship being the focus of the BBC interview). But the top-tier acting talent here isn’t the only reason that Scoop will likely rack up some pretty big viewership numbers for the streamer. There’s also the matter of, quite simply, luck.

Scoop has the good fortune of landing on Netflix as crisis after crisis continues to mount for the Royals. Kate Middleton, for example, has been under fire over a doctored photo while rumors continue to swirl about her and Prince William’s relationship. King Charles has also been facing health problems, at the same time as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle remain excommunicado (in fact, they were recently demoted on the Buckingham Palace official website).

Scoop on Netflix
Keeley Hawes, Rufus Sewell, and Charity Wakefield in “Scoop.” Image source: Peter Mountain/Netflix

The years and the headlines come and go, but worldwide interest in the Royals endures. On a related note, it should also be noted that Amazon’s Prime Video streamer is also working on a series about this same story, with Michael Sheen set to play Prince Andrew.

Based on McAlister’s memoir Scoops, the Netflix release also doubles as a kind of love letter to broadcast journalism and to all the shoe leather and thankless work behind the camera that the profession requires. The viewers will watch as the BBC tracks the Prince Andrew story from start to finish. Along the way, they had to do deal with everything from palace vetoes to delicate negotiations with Prince Andrew’s private secretary, Amanda Thirsk (played here by the always fantastic Keeley Hawes).

“That interview with Emily Maitlis created a modicum of accountability,” McAlister writes in Scoops. “It looks unlikely he will ever face an actual criminal court (and, of course, he still strenuously denies the allegations against him) but that day held him accountable in the court of public opinion. It sealed his fate. Millions of viewers passed an irrevocable judgement.”

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.