This 1987 television play, adapted from Evelyn Waugh's barbed comic novel, centres on a naïve young newspaper columnist, William Boot (Michael Maloney), who is caught up in an unfortunate case of mistaken identity. Each week, Boot writes a nature column for the Daily Beast entitled 'Lush Places', featuring detailed observations from the depths of his country estate. All is fine until the paper's foreign editor confuses him with a war reporter, and the bewildered Boot is dispatched to the East African republic of Ishmaelia to cover a major political crisis. Once there, he encounters the manipulative power of the world's press, tangles with big business, and falls hopelessly in love for the first time.
Inspired by Evelyn Waugh's own experience as a war reporter, Scoop aims a satirical spear at an array of Fleet Street archetypes. Boasting a venerable cast, the play stars Donald Pleasence as the Beast's opportunistically war-hungry publisher, Lord Copper; Denholm Elliott plays his timorous foreign editor, Salter; and Jack Shepherd is Corker, the roving hack who rarely misses a good story - factual or otherwise. Herbert Lom and Michael Hordern also appear in this excellent drama, which is directed by Gavin Millar (Foyle's War), produced by Sue Birtwistle (Cranford), and scripted by internationally acclaimed writer and journalist William Boyd.
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