Cecilia Stein bought UK and Commonwealth rights for Scoops: Behind the Scenes of the BBC’s Most Shocking Interviews from Sarah Ballard at United Agents. Further rights in the title will be handled by United Agents, and US rights through Eleanor Jackson at Dunow, Carlson & Lerner. The title will be published on 14th July 2022.
Among her other career successes, it was McAlister who clinched the 2019 interview with Prince Andrew and Emily Maitlis, in which he claimed to be unable to sweat. “She is many things besides: the first in her family to go to university; a trained barrister; a single mum; a master of persuasion,” the synopsis reads. “In her former BBC colleagues’ words, she was the ‘booker extraordinaire’, responsible for many of ‘Newsnight’’s exclusives over the past decade, including Stormy Daniels, Sean Spicer, Brigitte Hoss, Steven Seagal, Mel Greig and Julian Assange.”
McAlister has signed on to make a documentary with Aquitania Films about her experiences during negotiations for the Prince Andrew interview, executive-produced by James Goldston, the award-winning producer and former president of ABC News.
“It has been fascinating to understand the lengths a producer will go to for an exclusive with both public figures and extremely private individuals,” Stein said. “Sam was relentless in her pursuit of interviews that have shaped the news agenda and her stories are by turns inspiring, gripping and unforgettable.”
McAlister added: “Ever since the world tuned into Prince Andrew talking about Pizza Express, Woking and his inability to sweat, people have been coming to me with questions. I’m delighted to reveal the behind-the-scenes graft that goes into negotiating interviews like these, the amazing bravery of certain interviewees, and the strange life of a news producer.”
Scoops: Behind the Scenes of the BBC’s Most Shocking Interviews is published July 2022.