Sam McAlister 'Scoop' Interview for Events That Made Me Podcast

Sam McAlister Interview ‘Scoop’ for Events That Made Me Podcast


When BBC Newsnight producer, Sam McAlister, negotiated an interview with HRH The Duke of York, little did she know that it would become one of the most infamous, global interviews, rocking the foundations of the Royal family.

In an interview on celebrity event planner Liz Taylor’s podcast, a prequel to series seven of Events That Made Me, Sam explains how six months of high-stakes negotiations would land her the scoop of the year, inspire a book, and secure a lucrative Netflix deal.

Host Liz Taylor asked Sam how she moved from barrister to television producer, author, and executive producer on the Netflix drama, Scoop. The TV series starring Gillian Anderson, Billie Piper, and Keeley Hawes brings to life the story behind the infamous Prince Andrew interview by Newsnight presenter, Emily Maitlis.

Sam led negotiations for the interview at a time when Prince Andrew’s relationship with Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell was becoming global news, and Buckingham Palace was scrambling to control the story.

Sam explained: “..but there was a red line and Amanda Thirsk, his private secretary, said ‘by the way, you can’t ask anything about Jeffrey Epstein. That issue is closed’. Well, we don’t do red lines.”

“After that negotiation, it became the biggest story in the world.

“And the pressure is really on me for months and months on end to try a reel in this impossible interview. And really that’s what I effectively spent the next six months doing. Culminating in that interview in November.”

Formidable Sam also explores a more personal side, discussing balancing motherhood, with being a single parent. And why she made the bold decision to risk leaving a secure job and fourteen-year career at the BBC to write her book, Scoops.

The interview spotlights how coming from a happy family background, and living on a London council estate, shaped her perspective on the world. A naïve view, free from prejudices, which would change when she attended University. And how it defined her personality, giving her the empowerment to seek success and happiness:

“One of the great things about coming from this different background where there isn’t this expectation is that it gives you this audacious fearlessness. There is no such thing as failure, so I’ve been relentlessly optimistic that I’ll keep trying new things.”

Listen to the full interview with Sam McAlister on the Events That Made Me podcast on Thursday, May 23, 3024 on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or by clicking:

What four events have shaped your life?  That’s the question guests on the Events That Made Me podcast must answer.  Each event is a poignant moment that has contributed to their journey and shaped their success.  Since its launch, the ‘Events That Made Me’ Podcast has been featured in the Top 5 Apple Podcasts Entrepreneur Chart (peak position 2), and the Top 10 Apple Podcasts Business Chart (peak position 7).  With over 38 000 downloads, host Liz Taylor has interviewed 7 MBEs, 5 OBEs, I DBE, 1 CBE, I Baroness, 1 BAFTA winner, 1 NTA winner, a 2 Michelin star winner, and 1 Tony Award winner: in an eclectic blend of inspirational guests. For our main Podcast page and the Sam McAlister Interview links Click here