Princess Beatrice to be portrayed in Netflix drama on Prince Andrew’s Newsnight interview

Scoop is based on a book by Sam McAlister, the BBC producer who secured the infamous interview with the Duke of York
Scoop is based on a book by Sam McAlister, the BBC producer who secured the infamous interview with the Duke of York
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Princess Beatrice will be a character in the new Netflix drama about her father the Duke of York's Newsnight interview.

The Princess will be played by actress Charity Wakefield, it has been announced, in Scoop, the film about her father’s explosive interview in 2019.

Scoop is based on a book by Sam McAlister, the BBC producer who secured the infamous conversation about the Duke’s friendship with the late disgraced financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

Ms McAlister previously revealed that the Duke had been joined in the final meeting to secure the interview by his daughter, who she said took notes and appeared “anxious”.

The upcoming film will depict the bombshell interview between the former Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis, played by Gillian Anderson, and the Duke, played by Rufus Sewell.

Ms Wakefield announced her role as the Princess, 34, saying:

It was only around two years after the interview had aired that Ms McAlister revealed the Princess had been present in the studio as an unexpected guest with her father.

Appearing on This Morning, Ms McAlister said: “I’d turned up to the negotiation slightly brassy, a little bit ballsy ... albeit with intellect and the legal element.

“But then Prince Andrew said: ‘Oh by the way, I've brought someone with me.’

Princess Beatrice was present at a meeting between producers and her father - Aaron Chown/PA
Princess Beatrice was present at a meeting between producers and her father - Aaron Chown/PA

“I'm thinking it's got to be a lawyer, please God for your sake, let it be a lawyer, and then round the corner, Princess Beatrice is here.”

The producer added: “The only thing worse than speaking to a prospective interviewee about allegations of sexual impropriety and sex with a 17-year-old girl is having to do so in front of his daughter.”

The Duke made a series of astonishing claims in the Newsnight interview, including that he could not sweat. He also failed to express total regret for his association with paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

Emily Maitlis, left, the formal Newsnight presenter, will be played by Gillian Anderson - Simon Way/Cancer Research UK/PA
Emily Maitlis, left, the formal Newsnight presenter, will be played by Gillian Anderson - Simon Way/Cancer Research UK/PA

The fallout resulted in the Duke being forced to "step down" from Royal duties, and was followed by events that would eventually lead to him paying a settlement of around £12 million in a civil sex abuse case without admitting wrongdoing.

The interview, which was filmed at Buckingham Palace in November 2019, resulted in a barrage of criticism.

Since then, the Duke has been kept largely out of the public eye, currently residing at Royal Lodge in Windsor.

However, from next month the King will cut his annual £249,000 allowance from the Duchy of Lancaster, meaning that he might be left with no choice but to vacate his home of 20 years due to the rising costs.

The Duke of York has been largely out of the public eye in recent times and is currently residing at Royal Lodge in Windsor - Yui Mok/PA
The Duke of York has been largely out of the public eye in recent times and is currently residing at Royal Lodge in Windsor - Yui Mok/PA

Royal sources have insisted that the monarch would not leave his brother “homeless or penniless” but it is not clear where the Duke and the Duchess of York, his estranged wife, would live.

The Telegraph previously revealed that the Duke was understood to have asked his late mother to be reinstated as Colonel of the Grenadier Guards in a push to return to royal duties shortly before her death.

He reportedly also pushed for his daughters, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, to be made working royals.

The King, however, is understood to believe that there is no way back for his brother to return as a working member of the Royal family.

Rufus Sewell will play the Duke of York in the new Netflix drama Scoop - Taylor Hill/FilmMagic
Rufus Sewell will play the Duke of York in the new Netflix drama Scoop - Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

The film about the BBC’s landmark interview with the Duke will feature a star-studded cast, including Billie Piper playing Ms McAlister.

It was also announced that Sex Education star Connor Swindells will play Jae Donnelly, the photographer who snapped the Duke walking in Central Park with Epstein.

Romola Garai, who starred in Atonement, has been lined up to play Esme Wren, the editor of Newsnight at the time of the 2019 interview.

Billie Piper will play Sam McAlister - David M Benett/Getty Images
Billie Piper will play Sam McAlister - David M Benett/Getty Images

Meanwhile, Lia Williams will play Fran Unsworth, the BBC’s former director of news. Amanda Redman will play the mother of Ms McAlister.

Scoop is being directed by Philip Martin, who is known for directing Hawking and The Crown.

The screenplay is being written by Peter Moffat and Geoff Bussetil for The Lighthouse film and television production company.