Production on Scoop is due to begin in late 2022, based on the chapters covering the events around Prince Andrew’s Newsnight interview.
Peter Moffat – the acclaimed screenwriter behind BAFTA winning Criminal Justice and the multi Emmy winning HBO adaptation The Night Of – will adapt the inside story behind Prince Andrew’s Newsnight Interview – which hit headlines around the world in 2019.
The feature will be produced by The Lighthouse Film & TV – launched in 2020 by Hilary Salmon, Radford Neville and Nick Betts – the BBC team behind BAFTA, RTS and Emmy award-winning hits such as Luther, Criminal Justice, House of Saddam, Three Girls and The Night Of. Voltage TV will be co-producers of the film.
Recent Lighthouse productions include two seasons of 61st Street for AMC Networks (also written by Peter Moffat).
Based on key chapters in the new book by former Newsnight producer Sam McAlister, the film tells the story of how Newsnight secured the journalistic scoop of the decade. From the first failed approach to the Palace through the high stakes negotiations with Andrew and his team, the stress and pressure of rehearsal, to the interview itself and the devastating fall from grace of the Queen’s favourite son – this is the inside track.
The fall-out from Prince Andrew’s Newsnight interview was famously described as: “A plane crashing into an oil tanker, causing a tsunami, triggering a nuclear explosion.”
With access to insiders at the heart of the story, the film is a glimpse into the privileged, funny and occasionally bizarre sequence of events that led to Andrew’s fall from grace.
Scoop is about abuse of power and the power of abuse.
Moffat said: “What the hell did he think he was doing? Who got him to do it? Why, when the rest of the world was so appalled, did he think it had gone so well? What kind of a man is this? In researching the film and talking to those on the inside of this extraordinary story I got the answers to all these questions. They’re provoking, often surprising, sometimes disturbing – and I think they make for a compelling story about power and abuse and journalistic courage.”
Executive Producer, Hilary Salmon said: “Sam’s book vividly chronicles the moment to moment drama that led to that most revealing and jaw-dropping of TV events. We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to bring Sam’s story to life.”
Sam McAlister, author of Scoops, said: “To have a production team of the calibre of The Lighthouse and a writer like Peter Moffat making a feature film is beyond my wildest dreams. I can’t wait to see Peter and The Lighthouse bring this extraordinary story to the screen.”
Scoops: Behind The Scenes of the BBC’s Most Shocking Interviews is released on July 14th and published by Oneworld. Other interviews detailed in the book include Julian Assange, Stormy Daniels, Steven Seagal and Amy Schumer.