Prince Andrew Newsnight interview: is movie in development and will Hugh Grant play Prince Andrew?

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Hugh Grant is rumoured to be playing the role of Prince Andrew, with no one yet confirmed for the role

The infamous BBC Newsnight interview with Prince Andrew about his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein is set to become a film.

According to Deadline, Scoop will tell the story of how the BBC secured the bombshell interview and will recreate some of the most well-known scenes.

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The Newsnight interview which took place in November 2019 saw the Prince Grilled by Newsnight’s Emily Mathis as he answered questions regarding his friendship with Epstein, which led to shocking revelations.

Hugh Grant (Love Actually, About A Boy) is rumoured to be playing Prince Andrew, with no one yet confirmed for the role, however his representatives have said he “has never heard of this project”.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Prince Andrew Newsnight interview movie.

What happened in the Prince Andrew interview?

The infamous Prince Andrew interview took place on BBC’s Newsnight on 16 November, 2021.

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Prince Andrew sought to tackle the sex abuse allegations made against him in a now infamous 2019 interview with Emily Maitlis (image: BBC/PA)Prince Andrew sought to tackle the sex abuse allegations made against him in a now infamous 2019 interview with Emily Maitlis (image: BBC/PA)
Prince Andrew sought to tackle the sex abuse allegations made against him in a now infamous 2019 interview with Emily Maitlis (image: BBC/PA) | PA

In it, he addressed his former friendship with convicted sex offender Epstein and the allegations that he had sexually abused teenager Virginia Giuffre.

The interview revealed shocking statements from the Prince, including that he did not regret his friendship with Epstein, which he stated ended in 2010.

However, the fact that the Prince went to stay with Epstein in New York after the socialite had been convited of soliciting sex with a minor drew more questions than answers.

The Prince tried to defend himself, explaining that “I took the judgement call that because this was serious, and I felt that doing it over the telephone was the chicken’s way of doing it, I had to go and see him and talk to him.”

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With the Prince stressing throughout the interview that the pair “weren’t that close.”

There was also a damning revelation that Prince Andrew had met up with now convicted sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell in 2019, before Esptein had been arrested.

Perhaps the most memorable statement from the interview was the Prince explaining a “problem” in Giuffre’s story.

A general view of Pizza Express restaurant on November 18, 2019 in Woking, England. Prince Andrew claimed in a BBC interview that he attended the Woking branch of Pizza Express with his daughter Beatrice on the night Virginia Roberts has alleged he was with her.  (Pic: Getty Images)A general view of Pizza Express restaurant on November 18, 2019 in Woking, England. Prince Andrew claimed in a BBC interview that he attended the Woking branch of Pizza Express with his daughter Beatrice on the night Virginia Roberts has alleged he was with her.  (Pic: Getty Images)
A general view of Pizza Express restaurant on November 18, 2019 in Woking, England. Prince Andrew claimed in a BBC interview that he attended the Woking branch of Pizza Express with his daughter Beatrice on the night Virginia Roberts has alleged he was with her. (Pic: Getty Images) | Getty Images

He went on to explain that he could not sweat due an injury in the Falklands War and stated he was at Pizza Express in Woking on the night of the alleged incident.

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What will Scoop be about?

Scoop is based on the book Scoops: Behind the Scenes of the BBC’s Most Shocking Interviews by Sam McAlister who produced Newsnight at the time.

It is rumoured to star Grant as Prince Andrew, with no one yet rumoured to play Mathis.

It’s understood that key moments from the interview will be depicted and the story of how the interview was secured will be told.

Written by Peter Moffat (writer of Bryan Cranston series Your Honour and 2004 film Hawking), the writer spoke about the Scoops project to Deadline.

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He reflected:“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. Almost nobody inside the BBC could know about it for fear it would leak.”

"What Andrew was going to say, was going to be extremely relevant in court later... a real responsibility, particularly to Epstein’s women victims. It was our one shot at looking at what Andrew had to say about Epstein."

He added that the interview "makes for very thrilling drama."

What was the fallout from the interview?

Immediately after the interview aired there was condemnation of the Prince and his comments.

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The Royal was made to step back from public life and in January 2022 had his military and Royal titles removed.

Although he is still a Prince, he cannot be referred to as His Royal Highness.

What happened to Prince Andrew?

Prince Andrew eventually settled out of court after Giuffre took out a civil lawsuit against him.

He agreed to pay an undisclosed sum to Giuffre and her charity for victim’s rights.

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Prince Andrew said he: “never intended to malign Ms Giuffre’s character” and acknowledged she had “suffered both as an established victim of abuse and as a result of unfair public attacks.”

He said he would "demonstrate his regret for his association" with the sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, but has accepted no liability and rejected claims of wrongdoing.

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