“Mahmood’s story is fascinating, it has everything."
A new Amazon series will tell the story of disgraced investigative journalist Mazher Mahmood, who was dubbed the ‘Fake Sheikh’.
Mahmood went undercover to trick his targets by donning robes and pretending to be a mega-rich Arab.
By doing so, he tricked celebrities and even royals into making outrageous and embarrassing comments for news stories.
However, he ended up being jailed himself.
Amazon Prime bosses believe the three-part documentary about the rise and fall of the ‘King of the Sting’ will be a huge hit later in 2022.
This follows the popularity of several shows by Netflix about con artists, including the ‘Tinder Swindler’ Simon Leviev.
A source said: “Mahmood’s story is fascinating, it has everything.
“He successfully and repeatedly tricked some of the country’s most famous people, including royalty, into believing he was someone he wasn’t.”
Birmingham-born Mahmood worked for the News of the World for two decades from 1991.
He became one of the UK’s best-known journalists and claimed to have helped convict over 100 criminals.
They included three Pakistan cricketers he exposed for match-fixing in 2010.
London’s Burning actor John Alford also went to jail for supplying cocaine and cannabis to Mahmood in 1997.
Another victim, Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson, was forced to apologise when she appeared to offer access to her former husband Prince Andrew in exchange for £500,000 in 2010.
As the ‘Fake Sheikh’, he also spoke to Newcastle United bosses Freddy Shepherd and Douglas Hall who quit after badmouthing Alan Shearer and manager Kevin Keegan and describing Newcastle women as “dogs”.
Other targets included the Countess of Wessex and Princess Michael of Kent, who were both deceived into gossiping about fellow royals.
However, Mahmood was accused of using entrapment and breaking the law without any clear public-interest justification.
His career came to an end in October 2016 when he was jailed for 15 months after being found guilty of conspiring to pervert the course of justice.
Mahmood had posed as a Bollywood film producer to promise N-Dubz star Tulisa Contostavlos a major movie role.
He also asked her to arrange a drug deal and she was later arrested and charged in 2013.
But the case collapsed as Mahmood was found to have altered evidence.
One source said: “Amazon Prime will tell all about Mahmood’s rise and fall to a whole new generation, not just in Britain, but also around the world.”