Michael Sheen to star as Andrew in series based on Newsnight interview

By Charlotte McLaughlin, PA Senior Entertainment Reporter

Michael Sheen will star as Britain's Prince Andrew in a series based on the explosive Newsnight interview.

Ruth Wilson will take on the role of Emily Maitlis, the journalist who grilled Andrew over his relationship with late billionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein in November 2019, in Amazon Studios show A Very Royal Scandal.

The three-part series will “follow Emily Maitlis’s professional and personal journey as a Newsnight journalist, leading up to her acclaimed interview with Prince Andrew”, Amazon Studios said, and is in production in the UK.

Maitlis, who left Newsnight to host The News Agents podcast with former BBC journalists Jon Sopel and Lewis Goodall, is an executive producer on the production.

The Way
Michael Sheen will star as the Duke of York (Ian West/PA) Photo by Ian West

The 53-year-old broadcaster wrote on X, formerly Twitter: “Blimey. First time I’ve seen this in print. What an exceptional cast.”

The series is written by The Last King Of Scotland writer Jeremy Brock and directed by Becoming Jane’s Julian Jarrold.

The cast also includes Joanna Scanlan as Andrew’s ex-private secretary Amanda Thirsk, Alex Jennings as the late Queen’s private secretary Sir Edward Young, and Eanna Hardwicke as BBC Newsnight editor Stewart Maclean.

A Very Royal Scandal is produced by Blueprint Television for Amazon Studios, with Karen Thrussell, Graham Broadbent, Pete Czernin, Diarmuid McKeown, Brock and Jarrold as executive producers, and Josh Hyams serving as a producer on the series.

British Independent Film Awards 2021 – London
Ruth Wilson plays Emily Maitlis in A Very Royal Scandal (Ian West/PA) Photo by Ian West

Maitlis has already been an executive producer of a Channel 4 documentary about the interview called Andrew: The Problem Prince.

A Netflix film adaptation of the interview is in the works called Scoop.

In that version, Maitlis is played by Sex Education star Gillian Anderson while The Man In The High Castle actor Rufus Sewell appears as Andrew.

The Netflix adaption is based on former Newsnight producer Sam McAlister’s memoir Scoops: The BBC’s Most Shocking Interviews From Prince Andrew To Steven Seagal.

The Amazon Studios series follows on from A Very English Scandal, which dramatised an alleged affair between model Norman Scott (Ben Whishaw) and leader of the Liberal party Jeremy Thorpe (Hugh Grant).

Meanwhile, A Very British Scandal dramatised a divorce court case between Margaret Campbell, Duchess of Argyll (Claire Foy) and Ian Campbell, the 11th Duke of Argyll (Paul Bettany).

Both aired on the BBC.