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How Prince Andrew’s PR guru Jason Stein really felt whilst watching Newsnight interview

Jason left his role weeks before the Newsnight interview

Scoop star Alex Hardmann opened up about the movie
Emmy Griffiths
TV & Film Editor
13 April 2024
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Prince Andrew’s Newsnight interview back in 2019 famously went very badly for the Duke of York, who resigned from his royal duties in the weeks that followed due to the public backlash against the royal, who discussed his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. 

In the weeks before the interview took place, Andrew’s PR guru Jason Stein resigned from his role, with the reason reportedly being due to him disagreeing with Palace aides about the interview, believing that the televised discussion was not the best course of action for the royal. 

Listen to A Right Royal Podcast here... 

LISTEN: Scoop actor Alex Waldmann talks PR guru Jason Stein

Jason appears in the new movie Scoop, and is played by The Duchess of Malfi actor Alex Waldmann. Joining A Right Royal Podcast to chat about the new movie, Alex opened up about meeting the real Jason to learn more about him, and what he thought about Prince Andrew’s interview.

He explained: “He was very open and generous with his time and even though he’s not in the film a huge amount, I’m really pleased how people have taken notice of him in the film, and that there was someone there saying, ‘I don’t think that this is a good idea.’

Rufus Sewell as Prince Andrew in Scoop
Rufus Sewell as Prince Andrew in Scoop

“I was really keen to meet him, and Sam [McAlister] knew Jason and they’d already been in contact and he was happy to be in the script… but the producers were in touch with him and arranged the time, so they did it on my behalf. I was expected to go and chat with him for half an hour and I ended up having a good two hours with him. I saw him at the screening, and he was pretty happy with what I’d done.” 

Princess Beatrice portrayed in Scoop© Netflix
Jason disagreed with the Newsnight interview

He continued: “What you see in the film is a slightly dramatised version of events, I am not entirely sure that the way that he left was that dramatic. The way he described it, he was very generous with the people involved and very professional, and knew there was a clash of strategy between himself and Amanda Thirsk. 

"He was brought in for a particular reason, they knew they needed him, but then when he was there, relinquishing some of that control to him might have been tricky to him having done things his own way. 

Jason Stein was a PR guru who quit working for Prince Andrew in the weeks before the Newsnight interview
Jason Stein was a PR guru who quit working for Prince Andrew in the weeks before the Newsnight interview

“I think he feels that even if he’d stayed on if it went ahead without his better judgement, I think he feels that he would have been very good at managing the operation afterwards so the fallout wasn’t as horrendous as it was. He was very professional and very respectful.” 


Princess Kate wearing black and white polka dots and a hat

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Alex also revealed that Jason chatted to him about what it was like for him to watch the Newsnight interview at the time, saying: “I do remember him saying he ended up watching the interview himself and had mixed feelings watching it. He is respectful of the Duke, as he called him because you have to be. The film shows the professional line and it’s interesting when things go across there, you’re there to do a job whatever opinions you might have about how people live their lives.” 

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