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Scoops

Behind the Scenes of the BBC's Most Shocking Interviews

Sam McAlister

‘Behind every great interview is a great booker – Sam McAlister is one of the unsung heroes of television news’ Piers Morgan

She is the woman who clinched the 2019 interview with Prince Andrew, described as ‘a plane crashing into an oil tanker, causing a tsunami, triggering a nuclear explosion’. She is many things beside: the first in her family to go to university; a trained barrister; a single mum; a master of persuasion. 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 Höss, Steven Seagal, Mel Greig and Julian Assange.

After 12 years producing content for Newsnight, McAlister reflects with candour on her experience, sharing not just the secrets of how the best news gets made, but also the changes to the BBC, the future of ‘mainstream media’ in the age of clickbait and the role of power and privilege in shaping our media landscape.   

This is a backstage pass to the most unforgettable journalism of our times.

  • Publication date: July 14, 2022
  • ISBN: 9780861544400
  • RRP: £16.99
  • Pages: 288
  • Publication date: July 14, 2022
  • ISBN: 9780861544417
  • RRP: £9.99
  • Pages: 288

Reviews

‘Sam McAlister is a force of nature – she’s relentlessly pursued scoops for her entire career. And this is the book to prove it.’

Steph McGovern

‘Sam delivers where others fail. She has a zinger of a story to tell.’

Huw Edwards

Sam McAlister

Sam McAlister was the first in her family to go to university, before training to be a criminal barrister. As a single mum, she decided her real passion was in news. Now BAFTA-nominated for her work with BBC Newsnight, McAlister’s hard-won exclusives have shaped the public conversation.

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