Real-Life Esme Wren In ‘Scoop’: Where Is BBC’s Newsnight Editor Now?


Netflix’s latest release, Scoop, is based on the explosive BBC interview that created waves throughout the nation. We saw that there were three women, Sam McAlister, Esme Wren, and Emily Maitlis, at the helm of affairs, because of whom the great revelation could take place. The BBC was going through a rough phase, and there was a lot of pressure on the administration due to increasing competition in the media industry. The sensational-ization of news had become a common practice, and the BBC was in a tough spot, as though it didn’t want to compromise on its ideals; it also didn’t want to miss out on the current trends and lose its viewer base. Amidst all the hullabaloo, the BBC’s Newsnight became the saving grace as it conducted riveting investigative interviews, something that their peers were not doing. Esme Wren headed the TV program, and I believe she had a knack for identifying good stories when she saw one. She had a lot of faith in her teammates, and she gave them the freedom to work how they wanted. There was a time when Sam was having a lot of conflicts with her colleagues, and people were not happy with the way she functioned, but still, Esme trusted her abilities and backed her to do better. Esme was the kind of person who followed her intuition, even if it meant going against the established norms. 

There was a lot of stress among the employees around that time. The BBC was doing some cost-cutting and went on a firing spree. Amidst all the chaos, Sam saw an article in a newspaper where the photograph of Prince Andrew and Epstein was published, and her instincts told her that there could be a story there. She emailed Amanda, Prince Andrew’s private secretary, in the hope of getting a response from her. She was just trying her luck, and in reality, she didn’t have any expectations of Amanda responding to her. Sam had informed Esme about it, but the latter at first didn’t think that there was any kind of story there. Esme was an experienced campaigner, and she knew that there was no point in running that story unless they had some solid evidence to establish the link. But Sam kept following the lead, and she finally got a reply from Amanda, who asked her to come and meet her. Sam was thrilled, and Esme also let her do things her way, as she knew the kind of potential Sam had and she knew that there was a reason she had chosen her to be a part of her team. Meanwhile, Jeffrey Epstein was taken into custody by the authorities, and the fact that Prince Andrew had a long-standing relationship with him and the possibility of him being involved in the trafficking racket were also being speculated. At that moment, Esme knew that she had a story at hand and that they could go ahead and try to get an opportunity to interview the Prince. 

Esme Wren hadn’t expected in her wildest imaginations that the interview would go the way it did. She couldn’t gulp down the fact that Prince Andrew not only took the bait, but he walked right into it even when Emily didn’t even put in an ounce of effort from her end. Even after the interview, Esme believed that they would get some calls from the authorities and that they would be asked not to telecast the interview. But nothing of that sort happened, and they telecasted the interview, which turned Prince Andrew’s life upside down. Esme always believed that she had a responsibility towards the people of her nation. Her motive behind telecasting the interview was not that she wanted Prince Andrew’s life to get destroyed but that she wanted the people of her nation to know the truth. Esme was always a team player, and she never undermined the role that Sam and Emily played in the scheme of things. That interview wouldn’t have been possible if either of the ladies hadn’t made the right choices at the right time. 

As of now, Esme is the editor of Channel 4 News, and she continues her quest of bringing forth stories that matter and serving the citizens of her country. Apart from working as an editor of the BBC’s Newsnight program, Esme worked with Sky News for 12 years. She eventually rose up the ladder and became the head of Sky News Politics and Business department. Esme was featured on the cover of Radio Times, a feat that acknowledged her hard work, passion and dedication towards her work. 

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Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

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