Emily Maitlis Sheffield: Former King Edward VII pupil played by Hollywood star in Netflix film The Scoop

Netflix film Scoop has cast a big Hollywood name as ex-Sheffield schoolgirl and Newsnight star Emily Maitlis
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She is the former Sheffield comp pupil who made it big in news - and now she's set to be played by a Hollywood superstar in a film.

Former Newsnight host Emily Maitlis was raised in Sheffield after her father became a professor of chemistry at the University of Sheffield, attending King Edward VII School near Broomhill.

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Now Netflix have made a film about her famous interview with Prince Andrew, with the former X-Files actress Gillian Anderson playing her on screen in the movie, called The Scoop.

Emily Maitlis at King Edward VII School. Picture: Barry Richardson, National WorldEmily Maitlis at King Edward VII School. Picture: Barry Richardson, National World
Emily Maitlis at King Edward VII School. Picture: Barry Richardson, National World

Netflix has released the first photos of its upcoming drama, which tells the behind-the-scenes story of Newsnight’s notorious interview with Prince Andrew.

The stills show the pair in a recreated Buckingham Palace room, where the original interview took place in 2019.

Gillian Anderson playing Emily Maitliss in Scoop. Photo: Peter Mountain/NetflixGillian Anderson playing Emily Maitliss in Scoop. Photo: Peter Mountain/Netflix
Gillian Anderson playing Emily Maitliss in Scoop. Photo: Peter Mountain/Netflix

Ms Anderson said she studied the interview and other Newsnight episodes to make sure she had mastered Ms Maitlis’ mannerisms.

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Scoops’ director Philip Martin said: “Sometimes people can do a really brilliant impersonation but not capture something about the person.

“What Gillian and Rufus have done so brilliantly is get the spirit of the people that they’re playing, so that it feels real.”

Gillian Anderson as former King Edward VII pupil Emily Maitlis in The Scoop. Picture: Peter Mountain / NetflixGillian Anderson as former King Edward VII pupil Emily Maitlis in The Scoop. Picture: Peter Mountain / Netflix
Gillian Anderson as former King Edward VII pupil Emily Maitlis in The Scoop. Picture: Peter Mountain / Netflix

Asked about her memories of Sheffield, several years ago, Emily said she didn’t realise growing up ‘just how exceptional’ the city is.

She recalled walking up one of Sheffield’s three steepest streets on her way to King Edward VII Lower School every day – an experience she claimed had ‘taught me to adore hills’.

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She said at the time: "Everywhere you go the views are extraordinary because of the elevation. And I still can’t believe that if I run from my old front door and turn right, I’m literally in the Peak District surrounded by sheep in 40 minutes".

"Once you move south you realise how much flatter, blander and more crowded the rest of the country is. I really miss that about Sheffield.”

The film is based on the book Scoops by Sam McAlister, a producer and author who was instrumental in negotiating the interview. Her character is played by Billie Piper.

Set to be released next spring, the film will act as a tribute to the work of the four women responsible.

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Keeley Hawes plays the Duke’s right-hand woman Amanda Thirsk and Romola Garai plays Newsnight editor Esme Wren.

Emily's former school said it was very proud.

Headteacher Linda Gooden said: "King Edward VII School, and the Old Edwardians, are tremendously proud to learn that Emily Maitlis, a former student, is going to be played by Gillian Anderson in a film about her interview with Prince Andrew.

"Emily has maintained contact with her alma mater by visiting King Edward VII School on the 16 June 2012 in celebration of the completion of the Building Schools for the Future programme when the new Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Centre (STEM) was built on the site.

"More recently, Emily Maitlis recorded a superb, inspirational speech that was presented to students, parents, carers and families at the Ex-Year 11 Certificate Presentation Evening on Thursday 7 December 2023.

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"Emily Maitlis, in her book entitled Airhead: The Imperfect Art of Making News, acknowledged the impact that the School had on her success. She thanked, ‘My teachers at King Edward VII School, Sheffield, for the best possible start in life'."