Scoop's Sam McAlister reveals why she never asked the royal family for permission to write about Prince Andrew's interview

Scoop is currently one of Netflix’s most popular films, with Philip Martin’s drama series reaching the top ten chart in 22 countries, including the UK, Ireland, Norway, and Denmark, amongst many more.

In the latest episode of A Right Royal Podcast, aptly titled A Right Royal Scoop, and which you can listen to below, hosts Andrea Caamano and Emmy Griffiths, alongside HELLO!’s royal editor Emily Nash, talk to Sam McAlister, the trained barrister and former Newsnight producer and guest booker who played an instrumental role in making the infamous interview with the Duke of York happen back in 2019.

LISTEN: Sam McAlister reveals all about Prince Andrew’s Newsnight interview

During the lengthy chat, Sam reveals the reason she decided to write her book, Scoops: The BBC’s most shocking interviews from Steven Seagal to Prince Andrew, in the first place, and why she never consulted the palace or sought their permission.

“No, I didn’t,” she admits when asked if she reached out to the palace.

“And the reason being because I’m an ex-lawyer, right? So, this was really helpful in this, that because of other people who had spoken about it in the public domain, predominantly Emily [Maitlis], who had done lots of broadcasting about it and written another chapter in her book, a lot was in the public domain.

Sam McAlister, Gillian Anderson, and Billie Piper attend a New York Screening of Netflix Film Scoop © Getty
Sam McAlister, Gillian Anderson, and Billie Piper attend a New York Screening of Netflix Film Scoop

“So in effect, all I was doing was giving a different perspective on what was already out there from a different vantage point. And that in a sense, was very helpful legally, of course, but also in terms of not being as concerned that there would be issues.”


Princess Kate wearing black and white polka dots and a hat

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In the new episode, Sam reveals what she really told Prince Andrew during their two-hour meeting at Buckingham Palace, how awkward she felt when Princess Beatrice also joined the meet and where she was when she found out Prince Andrew had retired from royal duties.

A still from Scoop, showing Prince Andrew during his interview with Emily Maitlis© Netflix
A still from Scoop, showing Prince Andrew during his interview with Emily Maitlis

Elsewhere in the episode, Alex Waldmann, who plays PR guru Jason Stein, who was employed by the Duke to protect his image and famously advised him against his disastrous Newsnight interview, details how he got the role after months of waiting on a final answer from the director, Philip Martin. He also spoke about his time on set with Rufus Sewell, who plays Prince Andrew, and Keeley Hawes, who plays Prince Andrew’s private press secretary Amanda Thirsk.


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