Michael Sheen to star as Prince Andrew alongside Ruth Wilson in Amazon drama based on Newsnight interview

An all-star cast will headline a new BBC and Amazon show about British journalist Emily Maitlis’s infamous 2019 Newsnight interview with Prince Andrew.

Michael Sheen (The Queen) will play the role of the UK’s disgraced Duke of York, while Ruth Wilson (The Affair) will portray in Maitlis, in a forthcoming, three-part drama titled A Very Royal Scandal.

This anthology series has previously chronicled “The Thorpe Affair” – the sex scandal that ended Jeremy Thorpe’s political career – in A Very English Scandal, starring Hugh Grant. It’s second edition, A Very British Scandal, focused on the divorce of socialite Margaret Campbell, Duchess of Argyll, played by Claire Foy.

Production is currently underway in the UK and the show will follow “Emily Maitlis’s professional and personal journey as a Newsnight journalist, leading up to her acclaimed interview with Prince Andrew”, according to a Variety report.

Reacting to the announcement on Tuesday (21 November), Maitlis celebrated the show’s “exceptional cast” in a post on X/Twitter.

Michael Sheen (Getty Images)
Michael Sheen (Getty Images)

In 2019, the former Newsnight host questioned the controversial royal about his ties to convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein as well as the nature of his relationship with Virginia Guiffre – one of Epstein’s victims, who accused Andrew of sexually abusing her when she was 17.

Andrew vehemently denied the sex abuse allegations, eventually reaching an out-of-court, multi-million pound settlement with Guiffre.

In the aftermath of his catastrophic interview with Maitlis, the duke resigned from his role as a senior member of the royal family over his relationship with Epstein, the American financier who died in a New York jail while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

During the interview, which was described as a “car crash” at the time, Andrew made a number of statements that were widely derided at the time,

Andrew told Maitlis he could not have had sex with Guiffre on the night she accused him of assaulting her because he had taken his daughter, Princess Beatrice, to a Pizza Express in Woking.

Elsewhere, he challenged Guiffre’s description that Andrew was “sweating profusely” on the night of the alleged assault, explaining that he had a medical condition which made it “impossible for me to sweat”.

Ruth Wilson (Tristan Fewings/Getty Images)
Ruth Wilson (Tristan Fewings/Getty Images)

Earlier this year, Maitlis said she feared her Newsnight interview ended up “hurting” the duke’s daughters, princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, in an op-ed forThe Times.

“What is the duty of care you owe to those who trust you with their stories – particularly if they are in no position to answer back?” the 52-year-old wrote. “These were things I struggled with in the aftermath that still cost me a fair amount of thought today.”

In February, it was announced that Gillian Anderson and Rufus Sewell had been cast in a Netflix original film about Prince Andrew’s Newsnight interview.

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

Netflix said it will look at “navigating Palace vetoes, to breaking through to Prince Andrew’s inner circle, the high-stakes negotiations and intensity of rehearsal – to the jaw-dropping interview itself”.