The story of how the BBC secured its notorious 2019 interview with Prince Andrew is reportedly set for the big screen, with Hugh Grant reportedly in the frame to play the controversial royal.
According to Deadline, the film will be called Scoop and focuses on the events leading up to the bombshell interview, which saw the Duke of York face a terse grilling from Emily Maitlis about his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
Your Honor screenwriter Peter Moffat is writing the screenplay, while Hugh Grant is currently among the unconfirmed names in the frame to play the disgraced royal.
The 2019 interview saw Prince Andrew make a series of bizarre claims to bat away the allegations of sexual assault made by Virginia Giuffre, who claims that she was sex trafficked by Epstein and forced to have sex with the royal when she was 16 and 17 years old.
Among the Prince’s outlandish claims was his apparent inability to sweat, after Giuffre said he was “sweating profusely” when they allegedly danced together in London’s Tramp nightclub. He also memorably said he had taken his daughter, Princess Beatrice, to a birthday party at Pizza Express in Woking on the night of the alleged assault.
The Panorama interview with Maitlis had such an impact that the Duke was immediately banished from frontline royal duties.
Speaking to Deadline, Moffat explained that the film is “about how the BBC’s Newsnight team got the scoop, then the actual filming of it,” adding: “The other thing is, ‘why did he agree to do it?’.”
“How was it that he decided it was a good idea to do a great big long interview with Emily Maitlis on the BBC?,” Moffat said.
The film will be directly based on Scoops: Behind the Scenes of the BBC’s Most Shocking Interviews by Sam McAlister, a former Newsnight producer who helped secured the interview alongside the programme’s former editor Esme Wren and Emily Maitlis.
“Sam and those two extraordinary women, Emily and Esme, made the interview happen under real stress and pressure because once it was agreed it happened in secret,” added Moffat.
“Almost nobody inside the BBC could know about it for fear it would leak.”
Giuffre filed a civil lawsuit against the Duke in 2022, but it was settled out of court in February this year.
A release date is yet to be confirmed.