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Scoop: What is fact and what is fiction in Netflix’s Prince Andrew Newsnight film?



Scoop: What is fact and what is fiction in Netflix’s Prince Andrew Newsnight film?

By now, we’re all conversant in the grim, absurd particulars of Prince Andrew’s 2019 Newsnight interview. Sure, he claimed he couldn’t have had intercourse with 17-year-old Virginia Giuffre as a result of he was at a Pizza Categorical in Woking. Sure, he insisted he was bodily unable to sweat after an overdose of adrenaline within the Falklands battle. And sure, he stated he visited convicted intercourse offender Jeffrey Epstein in New York as a result of he didn’t wish to take the “hen’s method out” and dump his outdated good friend over the telephone.

However what the brand new Netflix movie Scoop exhibits us, for the primary time on display, is the nail-biting behind-the-scenes operation to get the story. It exhibits us how the BBC satisfied Andrew to conform to an interview so disastrous that it resulted within the duke stepping again from royal duties and ultimately being stripped of his army titles and patronages.

The film is predicated on the memoir of former Newsnight booker Sam McAlister, who negotiated and secured the interview. McAlister – and her distinctive costume sense (huge gold hoops, leopard-print boots) – is portrayed within the movie by Billie Piper. Then there’s the face of Newsnight, a coiffed, low-voiced Gillian Anderson as presenter Emily Maitlis, alongside a prosthetic-covered Rufus Sewell as Andrew and a wide-eyed Keeley Hawes as his then-private secretary Amanda Thirsk.

Whether or not it’s the perception that Scoop presents into Maitlis’s psyche, or the subplot in regards to the dogged British photographer who captured Epstein and Andrew’s stroll within the park, the movie provides a brand new perspective on probably the most well-known interviews of the century. However some moments in Scoop appear too wild to be true. So, what’s truth and what’s fiction within the movie? We’ve unravelled what actually occurred beneath…

Who was photographer Jae Donnelly?

The opening shot in Scoop isn’t what you’d anticipate. There’s no signal of Maitlis shuffling her papers firstly of Newsnight, nor can we see McAlister chasing leads round London – the movie as an alternative begins with younger British photographer Jae Donnelly, scrambling to get the photograph of Epstein and Andrew collectively in New York that may change all the pieces.

Donnelly (Connor Swindells) is central to the story of how the interview got here to be. What we don’t be taught within the movie is that he’s a “hostile environment-trained” photographer, who views his jobs as missions and his images as “proof”. A 2021 Self-importance Honest characteristic detailed how he “discovered endurance beneath strain, throughout every week of intense military-style coaching in Virginia”, the place he and a bunch had been “taken hostage… with explosives going off and baggage put over our heads… and marched via forest”. After the coaching was full, he stated, he may very well be trusted and insured to “go to those locations and canopy the harmful stuff”.

Connor Swindells as Jae Donnelly, the person who captured the photograph that modified all the pieces (Netflix)

As we see within the movie, on the afternoon of Sunday 5 December 2010, Donnelly was ready exterior Epstein’s seven-story, 40-room Manhattan mansion, with Information of the World reporter Annette Witheridge. The pair noticed Epstein and Andrew emerge from the constructing, however struggled to get a transparent shot of them, so adopted them to Central Park in a black SUV. Donnelly jumped out to race after them on foot, however as a result of he couldn’t get near the 2 males with out being noticed by their bodyguards, he clambered onto a excessive rock overlooking Epstein and Andrew’s path.

It was there, teetering on a rock, that Donnelly took the photograph of “Prince Andy and the Paedo” – because the Information of the World headline learn – that means that the pair may by no means deny figuring out one another. The existence of the photograph additionally meant that, within the Newsnight interview 9 years later, Andrew must reply why he was spending time with the financier after Epstein had pleaded responsible to little one intercourse fees and served 13 months behind bars.

Did Prince Andrew’s PR guru actually give up?

In Scoop, we meet Jason Stein, a PR guru introduced in simply weeks earlier than Andrew’s Newsnight interview to assist put the royal’s “Playboy Prince” popularity to mattress, because it had been. His plan had been to ask “pleasant” journalists into Buckingham Palace for meet-ups with the Prince, so they might get to know him and have an opportunity to heat to him. However when he hears that the duke’s non-public secretary, Thirsk, is working behind his again with Newsnight’s McAlister to organise a filmed interview, he dramatically quits, declaring, “I’m out!”

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In actuality, Stein had certainly been employed to assist Andrew in September, simply weeks earlier than the Newsnight interview passed off in November. That very same month, he had misplaced his earlier job as a particular adviser to Amber Rudd, after she give up as work and pensions secretary.

Based on The Instances, Stein left his function in Andrew’s workplace “by mutual consent”, after advising the duke to not converse to Newsnight, warning it may backfire. He was proper – it has gone down as probably the most disastrous PR strikes within the twenty first century.

Does Emily Maitlis have a whippet known as Moody?

In all places Maitlis goes in Scoop, so too goes her gray whippet Moody. The movie exhibits the journalist and her pooch carrying matching blue knitwear on a run. We additionally see the canine current throughout rehearsals for the large interview. And we see Moody being introduced into the Newsnight studio itself – on a brief lead. “Three ladies and a whippet? Wouldn’t have seen that in a BBC studio after I began,” quips Maitlis.

‘Three ladies and a whippet’: Emily Maitlis does have a canine named Moody in actual life (Netflix)

The actual Maitlis does have a whippet known as Moody. And he or she did typically deliver him to work. As one BBC insider advised the Every day Mail: “Emily loves that canine a lot, and he would typically be at her aspect when she got here to work. It was simply a kind of issues that occurred.”

However Moody the “newshound” and his fixed presence at Maitlis’s aspect hasn’t all the time gone down effectively. In the summertime of 2019, simply months earlier than the Newsnight interview, Maitlis was photographed together with her laptop computer at a desk on a GWR practice together with her whippet curled up on the seat beside her. “Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis slammed for letting canine sleep on seat of packed practice” ran a Every day Mirror headline on the time.

Maitlis nicknames the pooch “Moods” – and he will be seen throughout her Instagram feed, having fun with moist walks on the seashore.

Teddies galore

Based on Scoop, Andrew by no means grew out of teddies. Within the movie, we see dozens of them piled up on his mattress in Buckingham Palace, and at one level he scolds a feminine aide for placing a fluffy kangaroo again within the improper place.

In 2022, it was revealed in The Solar that the duke’s teddy assortment was so huge it took an entire day for workers to be educated find out how to prepare them. The newspaper reported claims from Andrew’s former maid Charlotte Briggs, who stated that he had a complete of 72 gentle toys that needed to be painstakingly positioned in dimension order each morning.

Briggs, who labored for Andrew within the Nineties – when the duke was in his thirties – stated: “As quickly as I obtained the job, I used to be advised in regards to the teddies and it was drilled into me how he wished them. I even had a day’s coaching. All the pieces needed to be good. It was so peculiar.”

There have additionally been reviews that there was a laminated diagram displaying clear directions on the proper placement of every teddy.

Was Andrew actually buddies with Jimmy Savile?

One of many strangest scenes within the movie sees Andrew inform an astonished Maitlis: “I don’t know why everybody’s so upset about my friendship with Epstein – I knew Jimmy Savile so significantly better.”

Whereas it’s unknown whether or not Andrew and Savile had been shut, it’s true that the duke was known as on to assist in an episode of Jim’ll Repair It after an eight-year-old woman requested if she may go to a warship; Andrew hosted her on his minehunter HMS Cottesmore.

Prince Andrew and Jimmy Savile – it was recognized that Savile was near royal household, notably Charles (Getty)

The infamous Savile inveigled his method into a lot of Britain’s main establishments, and the royal household had been no exception. Prince Charles repeatedly sought Savile’s recommendation, in line with claims within the 2022 Netflix documentary Jimmy Savile: A British Horror Story. Notes from Charles to Savile uncovered by the documentary’s producers confirmed that over the course of about 20 years, Savile grew to become an unofficial adviser to the now-King.

In a single occasion, Savile was introduced in to provide PR recommendation to the royal household after Andrew made insensitive feedback in regards to the Lockerbie bombing throughout a go to to the catastrophe website in 1988. The duke had been filmed saying how the catastrophe of the Frankfurt-to-Detroit flight was “a lot worse for the People”, including: “I suppose statistically one thing like this has obtained to occur at some stage on a city. In fact, it solely impacts the group in a really small method.”

In a five-page, hand-written file titled “Tips for Members of the Royal Household and Their Staffs”, which was proven to the late Queen, Savile laid out his imaginative and prescient for the way the royal household ought to reply to important incidents. He instructed the hiring of “a particular individual with appreciable expertise in such issues” and suggested: “There should be an ‘incident room’ with a number of impartial telephone traces, teletext and so forth… The Queen needs to be knowledgeable prematurely of any proposed motion by relations.”

What occurred when Emily Maitlis interviewed Invoice Clinton?

Within the movie, Maitlis’s remorse over not asking Invoice Clinton about his affair with Monica Lewinsky is a key driver in her want to get the Andrew interview proper. We see her say she felt like she “let ladies down” by not asking the previous president in regards to the White Home intern with whom he had an affair.

It’s true that, in 2014, whereas accompanying Clinton on a visit to India, Maitlis shunned citing Lewinsky. She made the last-minute resolution to not ask him about her after Clinton’s aides advised her he had simply had a “humorous flip” and stated they could pull the interview tapes altogether if “something occurs on digicam”.

Maitlis wrote in regards to the state of affairs in her 2019 e book Airhead, saying that instantly her precedence on the day stopped being the Lewinsky query. As a substitute, she was worrying about whether or not Clinton would keel over with the cameras rolling. “One factor I learnt in that cut up second: the assumption that you’ve any management is legendary,” she wrote. “Like these youngsters’s books the place you select your individual journey however finally find yourself on the identical place no matter you do.”

A coiffed Anderson portrays Maitlis within the movie (Netflix / Channel 4)

In an interview on the podcast Desperately Looking for Knowledge this 12 months, she stated: “Fairly frankly, I ought to have [asked the question]. You understand, I look again and, I’m not a courageous individual bodily. I’m actually pathetic. However typically in an interview, I don’t pull my punches. And in order that was an instance of the place I used to be truly embedded within the Clinton marketing campaign, we had been in the midst of a goat farm in Uttar Pradesh in India. So I didn’t have quite a lot of autonomy to make the interview about Monica Lewinsky…

“It’s stunning how little autonomy you’ve gotten in that state of affairs. You’ll be able to’t form of have a hissy match once you’re standing on a goat farm… , surrounded by the president’s safety individuals.”

She stated she wrote in regards to the second in her e book as a result of she wished to provide an instance that “each journalist” will perceive, of coming away “barely crushed and feeling pathetic and weak since you didn’t get to ask the query you wished to, and that basically hurts”.

The place is Amanda Thirsk?

Hawes portrays Andrew’s non-public secretary in Scoop as a girl utterly spellbound by Andrew, as somebody determined for the world to see the humorous and sort man that she sees. Within the movie, she is the one who meets with McAlister and presses the duke to conform to the interview.

Thirsk began working as Andrew’s non-public secretary in 2012; she was a key a part of Andrew’s all-female interior circle of aides and advisers, dubbed “Andy’s Angels”.

Keeley Hawes is Andrew’s wide-eyed non-public secretary in ‘Scoop’ (PA)

In 2020, simply two months after the disastrous interview, it was reported that Thirsk reached a authorized settlement to finish her employment within the royal family.

She is now working in a senior enterprise improvement function at, one among China’s largest e-commerce teams.

Was Andrew within the tub when Newsnight was on?

Was Andrew actually so relaxed in regards to the Newsnight interview that he was luxuriating within the tub whereas it aired? It’s inconceivable to know except you had been in Buckingham Palace that night time.

However in Scoop, he’s proven ensconced in a cloud of suds when his telephone begins to flash and bleep, because the world reacts to the car-crash interview.

Sadly, we see Andrew’s curiosity get the higher of him and he will get out of the bathtub to fetch his telephone. Cue a scene of Sewell (in prosthetics), stepping onto an opulent palace rug – pale, dripping and butt-naked.

‘Scoop’ is out now on Netflix

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