Who Is Emily Maitlis, the Acclaimed Journalist from the Netflix Movie 'Scoop'?

Her viral 2019 interview with Prince Andrew is the subject of the streaming giant's latest drama.

Gillian Anderson as emily maitlis, in the netflix movie 'scoop'

The Crown may be over, but Netflix just dropped a new dramatization of royal family history. The new film Scoop shows the behind-the-scenes process behind the infamous 2019 BBC Newsnight interview, where journalist Emily Maitlis (played here by Gillian Anderson) sat down with Prince Andrew (Rufus Sewell) to discuss his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Based on producer Sam McAlister’s book Scoops: Behind the Scenes of the BBC’s Most Shocking Interviews, the movie highlights the women who made the award-winning interview happen, showing how Maitlis formed her strategy for questioning the royal and how the ensuing fallout led Prince Andrew to step down from his royal duties.

While she's less known in the U.S., across the pond, Maitlis is one of the U.K.'s most esteemed journalists and her decades-long career has made her a fixture in the media industry. She wasn't involved with the Netflix film, but that doesn't mean her own take on the 2019 interview won't soon make its way to streaming. Read on to learn more about the media figure, including her thoughts on Scoop compared to her own TV series.

She's a multi award-winning journalist and documentary filmmaker.

Maitlis, 53, was born in Ontario, Canada, and grew up in Sheffield in north-central England. After graduating from Cambridge University, she worked as a documentary reporter and presenter in Hong Kong before moving back to the UK to work as a business correspondent for Sky News. In 2006, she began working as a regular presenter (or anchor) on BBC News Channel programs, including Newsnight; in 2018 she became Newsnight's lead anchor.

She has won several awards over the course of her career, including Broadcast Journalist of the Year at the 2017 London Press Club Awards, and Network Presenter of the Year at the Royal Television Society (RTS) Television Journalism Awards in 2019 and 2020. She's also the author of the 2019 book Airhead: The Imperfect Art of Making News.

BBC London presenter Emily Maitlis, pictured in 2006

Emily Maitlis' portrait, circa her announcement as a BBC presenter, in 2006.

(Image credit: Jeff Overs/BBC News & Current Affairs via Getty Images)

In early 2022, Maitlis left the BBC to host the daily news podcast The News Agents alongside alongside fellow journalists Jon Sopel and Lewis Goodall. She's married to an investment manager, Mark Gwynne, and they share two sons. Maitlis is also known as a running enthusiast—she sometimes conducts interviews while running, per the LA Times.

She really does have a necklace shaped like her beloved dog, Moody.

In Scoop, the character of Maitlis shares several scenes with a special companion, a whippet named Moody. The broadcaster's beloved dog even precedes her first appearance in the movie. We see the British doggo navigating the halls at the BBC's London headquarters before Maitlis eventually pops up, wearing a chic gold necklace featuring a pendant shaped like the pup.

a woman in a red dress (gillian anderson as emily maitlis) holds papers and a phone while standing in a glass-walled office, in the netflix movie 'scoop'

Emily Maitlis (Gillian Anderson), wearing her gold necklace, in Scoop.


In real life, Maitlis is a dedicated dog mom to Moody, but she's come under fire for bringing him into the workplace. He was a regular at the BBC, as one insider told the Daily Mail. "Emily loves that dog so much, and he would often be at her side when she came to work....You'd turn up to work and Emily would have her dog with her. But she was the only one. Some laughed. Others thought it was pretty entitled. Maybe it was a presenter thing, but those earning far less than Emily had to shell out for dog walkers and the like."

Moody even became a national talking point in the U.K. after Maitlis was criticized in 2019 for letting her dog take up his own seat on a train. Let's refrain from wading into the dogs-on-train-seats debate, but at the time, Maitlis argued that her critics were "pet-shaming." You can't deny how much she loves her pup.

a woman in running gear (gillian anderson as emily maitlis kneels and holds her dog's collar, while a man sits on a bench behind her, in the netflix movie 'scoop'

Emily Maitlis (Gillian Anderson), mid-run with her dog Moody, in Scoop.


Gillian Anderson almost turned down the role due to Maitlis' esteemed reputation.

To play Maitlis, Scoop cast X-Files and The Crown alum Gillian Anderson, but the Emmy- and Golden Globe-winner almost turned down the role. During an April 3 screening in New York City, the actress revealed that she initially thought that playing the public figure seemed like a "really bad idea," especially since they run in the same social circles.

"I felt Emily Maitlis is known very well in the U.K. She’s been on our screens and in our ears and podcasts for a long time, and she’s kind of known as a superwoman about town," she explained during the Q&A. "There’s a comment or an off-the-cuff comment in the film about how she swims and she jogs and she interviews world leaders and all that. And all of that is very true, and she is quite a formidable presence, and I know lots of people who know her.”

a woman (Gillian Anderson as Emily Maitlis), sitting down and holding a notebook, in the netflix movie 'scoop'

Gillian Anderson as Emily Maitlis, portraying the 2019 Prince Andrew Newsnight interview on Scoop.


Anderson continued, “I played a few people who are no longer living already, and the prospect of not only playing somebody who was living but living in my neighborhood seemed like a really bad idea. So I said, ‘No, thank you.’”

Maitlis hasn't watched 'Scoop' yet... because she's working on her own show for Prime Video.

While Maitlis wasn't involved with the making of Scoop, she is executive producing another project that delves into the famed 2019 interview. In November 2023, Variety reported that Amazon is producing a three-part miniseries called A Very Royal Scandal, with Michael Sheen portraying Prince Andrew and Ruth Wilson playing Maitlis. While Scoop focuses on Sam McAlister as the protagonist, A Very Royal Scandal will "follow Emily Maitlis’ professional and personal journey as a Newsnight journalist, leading up to her acclaimed interview with Prince Andrew," per the official description.

Emily Maitlis attends Global's Make Some Noise Charity Gala at The Londoner Hotel on November 21, 2023 in London, England.

Emily Maitlis on the red carper for Global's Make Some Noise Charity Gala, on November 21, 2023, in London, England.

(Image credit: Karwai Tang/WireImage)

In an April 5 interview with Deadline, Maitlis commented on Scoop, alluding to the fact that she and McAlister have "differing recollections about how the Prince Andrew interview was secured."

Maitlis said of the Netflix film, “I’ve left them very much to do their own thing because I think the last thing they want is me peeking around the edges offering my [views]. It says it’s based on a fictional account, so I think it goes into different places and it does different things [than the Amazon series will].” A representative for the former anchor later clarified that she was describing Scoop as a “dramatization.”

Emily Maitlis addresses students at the Cambridge Union Society on October 5, 2015 in Cambridge, England

Emily Maitlis speaks at the Cambridge Union Society, on October 5, 2015, in Cambridge, England.

(Image credit: Chris Williamson/Getty Images)

Of the dueling film and miniseries, Maitlis added, "This [the Amazon series] will be a very different beast. I’m sure there’s room for both. It’s unreal that there is all this interest and all this excitement.”

Contributing Culture Editor

Quinci is a Contributing Culture Editor who writes pieces and helps to strategize editorial content across TV, movies, music, theater, and pop culture. She contributes interviews with talent, as well as SEO content, features, and trend stories. She fell in love with storytelling at a young age, and eventually discovered her love for cultural criticism and amplifying awareness for underrepresented storytellers across the arts. She previously served as a weekend editor for Harper’s Bazaar, where she covered breaking news and live events for the brand’s website, and helped run the brand’s social media platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Her freelance writing has also appeared in outlets including HuffPost, The A.V. Club, Elle, Vulture, Salon, Teen Vogue, and others. Quinci earned her degree in English and Psychology from The University of New Mexico. She was a 2021 Eugene O’Neill Critics Institute fellow, and she is a member of the Television Critics Association. She is currently based in her hometown of Los Angeles. When she isn't writing or checking Twitter way too often, you can find her studying Korean while watching the latest K-drama, recommending her favorite shows and films to family and friends, or giving a concert performance while sitting in L.A. traffic.