Making television about television must be tempting. After all, television as an industry is as self-absorbed as any other. But unlike, say, The Hour, the 2011 BBC drama series that looked back at the early days of BBC TV, or the BBC spoof W1A, the latest addition to this genre could never be accused of excessive navel gazing.


Firstly, it’s a drama about a Newsnight story, made by Netflix. Secondly, it’s centred on the travails of the royal family, which means it has a broad appeal when it comes to finding an audience.

Since the first season of The Crown in 2016, dramas about the House of Windsor have proved good business for Netflix. This latest drama, Scoop, which tells the story of Prince Andrew’s 2019 interview with then Newsnight star Emily Maitlis, shares The Crown’s production values and features a big-name cast – Gillian Anderson plays Maitlis, Billie Piper the Newsnight fixer Sam McAlister and Keeley Hawes is Amanda Thirsk, Prince Andrew’s PR minder.

The shaming of a prince provides the story. The fact he stuck by a convicted paedophile for far too long, appearing shifty and uncomfortable on screen and failing to express any regret, gives the drama its moral authority. But it’s the tale of the women who brought about his downfall that powers the narrative.

Read our interview with McAlister, plus the rest of the cast on making a drama out of a royal crisis.

Scoop Radio Times cover

Also in this week's Radio Times:

  • Mary Beard and Bettany Hughes chat about their experience working in TV, receiving death threats and dealing with social media abuse
  • Stacey Solomon discusses her physical appearance, celebrity status, and dealing with trolls online
  • Eddie Marsan on playing Amy Winehouse’s dad, his views on masculinity and using his platform for good

Scoop is available to stream on Netflix from Friday 5th April 2024. Sign up for Netflix from £4.99 a month. Netflix is also available on Sky Glass and Virgin Media Stream.

Check out more of our Film coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.


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