Netflix's Scoop: Who is Amanda Thirsk and where is she now?

Here's what you need to know about Amanda Thirsk, Prince Andrew's private secretary played by Keeley Hawes in Netflix's Scoop

Amanda Thirsk
(Image credit: Netflix)

Almost five years after Prince Andrew’s disastrous 2019 BBC Newsnight interview, a Netflix dramatization called Scoop has been released. 

Netflix's Scoop is based not only on the 2019 BBC Newsnight interview but also a book of the same name by former Newsnight interview booker Sam McAlister, which tells the behind-the-scenes story of how she secured Prince Andrew's interview with Newsnight and many other remarkable interviews.

At the heart of Netflix’s Scoop is a story about how four women were central to Newsnight securing Prince Andrew’s historic Newsnight interview about his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Scoop explores the lead-up to the interview by focusing on the story of Sam McAlister, played by Billie Piper, as well as telling the stories of Prince Andrew’s private secretary Amanda Thirsk, played by Keeley Hawes; former Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis, played by Gillian Anderson, and Newsnight editor Esme Wren played by Romola Garai.

While most of the Netflix film drama focuses on the world of Newsnight, one of the women outside the BBC who the film depicts as pivotal to the interview was Prince Andrew’s private secretary at the time and his most senior staff member, Amanda Thirsk. 

But who is Amanda Thirsk, and does she still work for Prince Andrew? Here’s everything we know...

Amanda Thirsk Scoop

(Image credit: Netflix)

Who Is Amanda Thirsk?

Amanda Thirsk is a mother of three, and according to LinkedIn, she is a law graduate from the University of Cambridge. 

At the time of the infamous Newsnight interview, she had been the Duke of York’s private secretary for seven years, making her one of his most senior staff members. She was often regarded as his right-hand woman, whose opinion he trusted, which is reflected in the series. 

She had worked for the Prince since 2012, and according to The Telegraph and Scoop, it was Thirsk, alongside his daughter Beatrice, who urged the Prince to do the interview to explain his controversial friendship with Jeffrey Epstein and Virginia Giuffre’s sexual abuse allegations. 

In the series, Amanda and Beatrice tell Andrew that if he were to do an interview, it would be best to do it with a female journalist like Emily Matlis so that he wouldn’t be accused of trying to hide behind a soft interview. However, per Metro, Prince Andrew’s other aides disagreed that he should do an interview at all. 


(Image credit: Netflix)

ITV reported at the time that it was Thirsk who told BBC producers that Prince Andrew would be open to any and all questions as she hoped the interview would leave the public with “a clear and unambiguous denial from the duke” and a favourable opinion of Prince Andrew. However, the heavy focus on the Prince and his inability to say he regretted his friendship with Epstein because the friendship had been “useful” left the public feeling angry towards the Duke of York and Thirsk out of a job as Andrew’s private secretary. 

Does Amanda Thirsk still work for Prince Andrew?

The fallout from the BBC interview was significant. Prince Andrew stepped down from the Pitch@Palace and royal duties, and Amanda Thirsk was also sacked as Prince Andrew’s private secretary.

The Newsnight interview triggered a chain reaction, leading to the end of Pitch@Palace as partners such as KPMG and Barclays pulled their support and board members resigned per Sky. While Thirsk was initially kept on to work at Pitch@Palace, which also featured in the Netflix series, Sky reported that she resigned three months later in April 2020 for a job in the private sector. 

It’s reported that Thirsk’s legal settlement with the palace was hammered out at the same time Queen Elizabeth II and other senior royals, King Charles (at the time Prince Charles) and Prince William, were finding a solution to Prince Harry and Meghan’s plans to step back as senior royals. 

Amanda Thirsk and Prince Andrew

Amanda Thirsk and Prince Andrew

(Image credit: Alamy)

Sky News reported in January 2020 that her settlement was worth tens of thousands of pounds, a substantial sum reflecting her years of service in the royal household. Although she had only worked for the Duke of York for seven years, she had worked in the royal household for 15 years. 

The settlement allowed her to sign a separate contract that would allow her to continue serving as the chief executive of Prince Andrew’s Pitch@Palace Global Limited organisation. The organisation was privately owned and founded by Prince Andrew to support entrepreneurs, but its launch coincided with the allegations about Andrew’s friendship with Epstein coming to light. 

Where Is Amanda Thirsk Now?

In February, Sky News reported that Thirsk is currently working in a senior business development role at, one of China's biggest online retail shops. She was also playing a key role in helping her company evaluate a possible bid to buy the high-street electricals shop Currys. 

Liv Facey
Contributing writer

Liv Facey is a freelance multimedia journalist and producer. She dabbles in entertainment, lifestyle, travel and news. She has bylines in a range of publications including The Times, Teen Vogue, Refinery29 and Mashable. When Liv’s not binging the latest TV series, she’s often travelling to new countries, reading or out purchasing new makeup products which she can’t seem to stop buying.