Succession's early script was inspired by the Murdoch family, says creator Jesse Armstrong

Every core cast member of Succession was nominated for an Emmy this year. Credit: HBO

By Lily Ford, ITV News Multimedia Producer

After four series' worth of speculation among fans, the creator of Succession has confirmed its original script was based on the Murdoch family.

The Emmy-winning HBO series followed the life of the infamous Logan Roy, a billionaire at the centre of the world's most profitable media conglomerate.

Played by Scottish actor Brian Cox, the family patriarch was surrounded by his less formidable children and colleagues who constantly tussled for Roy's attention - and position as CEO.

Now, creator, executive producer, and writer Jesse Armstrong, has said he wrote about Rupert Murdoch, real-life media mogul and business magnate, years before the fan-favourite show came to fruition.

Jesse Armstrong, creator of global hit Succession. Credit: AP

At the Edinburgh TV Festival, Armstrong, also known for comedy series' Peep Show and Fresh Meat, told the audience: "I wrote a script about Rupert Murdoch and his family – the real people, which was the predecessor.

"A distinct entity ended up as a sort of screenplay that started at Channel 4 as a sort of docu-drama and it evolved into a sort of screenplay."

He explained that he originally stopped working on the script.

It was only "many years later" he thought it was a "really great idea" and began working on what would eventually become Succession.

The British writer even admitted it "felt very possible" that the show would only run for a single season.

Brian Cox as family patriarch Logan Roy in Succession. Credit: HBO

But it's accrued a cult following and swept countless award shows - from the Golden Globes to the Emmys - with main cast Cox, Jeremy Strong, Sarah Snook, Kieran Culkin, and Matthew Macfadyen at the forefront of its success.

When Murdoch and ex-wife Jerry Hall were going through their divorce, it was reported by Vanity Fair that Ms Hall was banned from contacting the show’s producers in an effort to stop her providing them with ideas for storylines.

Asked about this, Armstrong said he is "sceptical" if this is true.

He added: "I imagine that in their divorce agreement, she was probably restricted from talking to any number of media organisations.

"Well, probably, I imagine that’s a spicy detail, ginned up a little bit."

Rupert Murdoch's life and family inspired an early script for Succession. Credit: PA

He said he thinks "one of Murdoch’s great strengths is not giving a f*** too much about those kinds of things" and that he does not believe the restrictions upon Ms Hall came from Murdoch directly.

Succession came to a close after four seasons in May this year.

A whopping nine of its cast members are nominated for an Emmy for their performances in the final series.

The Emmy's are set to take place in January 2024 after being delayed by the Hollywood actors' and writers' strikes.

Tune into the ITV News entertainment podcast, Unscripted...