Scoop (2024) Plot and Ending Explained

scoop 2024 ending explained
Scoop 2024 Ending Explained

Directed by Philip Martin, Scoop (2024) is a newly released nail-biting journalistic thriller movie based on the real story behind the Duke of York, Prince Andrew’s infamous interview with BBC Newsnight in 2019 that led to his eventual downfall. The movie is an adaptation of Sam McAlister’s book “Scoops: Behind the Scenes of the BBC’s Most Shocking Interviews,” published in 2022. It stars notable actors like Gillian Anderson, Keeley Hawes, Billie Piper, and Rufus Sewell. 

It tells the story of the unrelenting pursuit made by a few determined reporters who were willing to go to lengths to get this newsworthy interview-a momentous event that would eventually prove crucial for Prince Andrew as he went down. 

The juicy, well-acted retelling of history, “Scoop”, is available to stream on Netflix.

Plot Summary

Prince Andrew (Rufus Sewell) and Jeffrey Epstein (Colin Wells) have a controversial relationship due to allegations of sexual misconduct against the both. Meanwhile, at BBC offices, there are looming layoffs, and producer Sam McAlister (Billie Piper) worries about her job. She reaches out to Andrew’s personal secretary, Amanda Thirsk (Keeley Hawes), in hopes of securing an interview. Despite initial rejection, Sam remains persistent.

When Epstein is arrested and later dies, attention shifts to his long-time girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell and friend Prince Andrew. Sam, along with colleagues Emily Maitlis (Gillian Anderson) and Esme Wren (Romola Garai), pitch the interview to Andrew and Amanda. Despite the roadblocks, they convince Andrew to agree, emphasising the opportunity for him to shape public opinion about the scandal.

Is the movie based on true events?

“Scoop” is a dramatised version of the true events that went down behind-the-scenes of the iconic 2019 interview with Prince Andrew.  The movie is a work of fiction that closely resembles the real sequence events that led to this interview and depends heavily on McAlister’s book as one of its main sources. Netflix claims that thorough research about what happened at BBC and Buckingham Palace during this period was conducted by the film producers.

Nonetheless, there are some disparities between the film and the actual incidents of 2019. However, there are some differences between the film and real-life events of 2019. For instance, it took McAlister thirteen months to get close to Thirsk and get confirmation for the interview unlike how it is shown in the movie.

Now, let us dive into the plot of the movie in detail and explain the ending! 

How did Epstein and Andrew get photographed together?

The scene from movie 'Scoop' where Epstein and Andrew get photographed together by Joe Donnelly
The scene from movie ‘Scoop’ where Epstein and Andrew get photographed together by Joe Donnelly

The movie starts in New York in 2010 when Joe Donnelly, a paparazzi, gets news of Prince Andrew visiting notorious sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Along with his partner, he stakes out at 71st East Street and spots a young girl go out of Epstein’s place. Hours later, Epstein and Andrew go out to take a stroll at Central Park. Unable to take a clear picture, he gets out of the car and follows them. He runs and cuts through bushes to get that clear, infamous picture of the two of them together.

Sam McAlister’s background

Sam McAlisters background
Sam McAlister’s background (image courtesy:Netflix)

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News of layoffs at the BBC upset many reporters and journalists working there. One such employee was Sam McAlister, who booked interviews for BBC’s program ‘Newsnight’. She plays a pivotal role in grabbing this interview by developing a good relationship with Prince Andrew’s private secretary, Amanda Thirsk. 

Sam’s pitch for interviewing Lupita Nyongo is rejected as not newsworthy enough. She proceeds to research possible scoop-worthy interviews. Her eyes land upon Prince Andrew’s Pitch@Palace initiative article and a picture of him with Epstein. Without wasting any time, she emails Amanda Thirsk, Andrew’s secretary, asking for a chat.

Amanda Thirsk replies to Sam

Amanda Thirsk admires Andrew
Amanda Thirsk admires Andrew

Andrew’s Pitch@Palace initiative, which would help young entrepreneurs, was going well. Amanda seems to admire Andrew and the Royal Family. However, when Joe Donnelly’s picture resurfaces, Amanda hires Jason to clean up the press. Jason’s idea is to make friends with a few journalists and let them perceive Andrew as a genuine person, so they will print more positive articles.

Amanda receives Sam’s email and decides to invite her to the Royal Palace for an interview. Sam calls Joe Donnelly and gets information about Ghislaine Maxwell—an instrumental figure involved in Epstein’s crimes against minors. Joe informs her that Ghislaine is also an old friend of Andrew, and they have been photographed together. As a struggling mother with a young son, Sam seems determined to crack this interview. She also comes across a picture of Andrew with Ghislaine Maxwell and a 17-year-old girl named Virginia Giuffre and asks Joe about it.

How does Sam persuade Amanda to have an interview with Prince Andrew?

Sam persuade Amanda to have an interview with Prince Andrew
Sam persuade Amanda to have an interview with Prince Andrew

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After getting the confirmation message, Sam enters Buckingham Palace and meets with Amanda. The two go out to have a drink and get to know each other. Sam does her best to connect with Amanda; however, the latter leaves the meeting without any concrete promises. 

Back in the palace, Jason is upset about Sam and Amanda’s meeting. At the BBC office, Sam tries to convince her colleagues to run the interview. Joe calls and informs her that the FBI will soon arrest Epstein for sex trafficking. With that information in hand, she informs Esme Wren and goes to the royal palace to break the news and persuade Amanda to do an interview. 

The next day, the inevitable happens, and a tensed Andrew comes under hot water due to his connections with Epstein. A few days later, Epstein dies in prison and the news doesn’t seem to let go of Prince Andrew. This is when Amanda seriously considers the interview. 

How do the reporters prepare for the interview?

Emily Maitlis, Esme Wren, Stewart MacLean, and Sam go to the royal palace to talk and negotiate about the interview
Emily Maitlis, Esme Wren, Stewart MacLean, and Sam go to the royal palace to talk and negotiate about the interview

Emily Maitlis, Esme Wren, Stewart MacLean, and Sam go to the royal palace to talk and negotiate about the interview. Amanda and Prince Andrew, along with his daughter Princess Beatrice, are present and try to get the questions for the interview. However, Emily is adamant about keeping it fair and not disclosing it beforehand. The reporters play their cards well by informing Andrew of his reputation online, with Princess Beatrice in agreement. They agree to the reporters’ conditions; however, Jason takes a step out, as he thinks it’s a bad idea.

After getting the final confirmation for the interview, the three women reporters start gearing up for the soon-to-be groundbreaking interview, which is supposed to take place on Thursday at 2 p.m. at the palace. Emily and her team strategize on how to bait Andrew. Sam goes on to advise her to let Andrew talk and give him space instead of grilling him, so he exposes himself naturally.

Andrew’s team, too, prepares for the interview and practises scenarios. The preparations of both parties seem intense. 

“Scoop” Ending Explained: What happens at the interview?

The interview scene at Buckingham Palace
The interview scene at Buckingham Palace

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On November 14, 2019, the interview took place at Buckingham Palace. When questioning begins, Emily Maitlis is very cautious in her approach so that Prince Andrew can tell his story much more easily. He admits that he does not regret being friends with Epstein because the parties were helpful and people could interact. In fact, he categorically denies having any sex relationship with Virginia Roberts, even though Maitlis points out a statement from Roberts saying they were dancing and had dinner together in 2001, which she claims was also wrong. However, when interrogations get longer with calculated breaks, we find Andrew becoming anxious bit by bit. He insists that he never met nor danced with Roberts at Tramps Bar after all, adding that it was not possible for him to be sweaty since his sweating ability stopped following the Falkland’s War because of excessive secretion of adrenaline. As an alibi, one of such events is going to Pizza Express in Woking, where he attended a party while acknowledging it was strange enough for him to remember it this way.

He confessed to that when Prince Andrew was asked about the Epstein mansion in December 2010. In a tone deaf response, he said it was for convenience that he stayed at his mansion, despite being reminded that it was just three days after Epstein was convicted for sex crimes. He expressed regret over sullying the image of royalty; nevertheless, there were reports indicating him meeting Epstein as a way of ending their relationship.

The interview was seen as a victory by Andrew’s team. He was even seen saying that the interview went well. However, it was the biggest PR disaster in the history of Buckingham Palace. At the same time, it became a hit for Newsnight, with them winning five awards for this episode. 

Hate and criticism started pouring in on the internet because his words betrayed him, which made people start hating him since they saw that he had no guilty conscience, thus leading them to know that he misused his powers. The interview made Prince Andrew resign from his royal duties and issue a public apology. 

In the end, Sam gets recognition from Esme Wren’s Twitter page and becomes a producer of Newsnight for 10 years.
In the end, Sam gets recognition from Esme Wren’s Twitter page and becomes a producer of Newsnight for 10 years.

Sam McAlister leaves the office at the end of the film, realising her place in making this the most successful episode in Newsnight’s history, and gets recognition from Esme Wren’s Twitter page. She is happy to have found this ‘scoop’ that would make a difference in society. She went on to become a producer of Newsnight for ten years before retiring from television. Currently, she teaches at London School of Economics.