Actor Ian McShane's latest movie character is his personal tribute to late British journalist ROSS BENSON. The Sexy Beast star jumped at the chance to play a crack society hack in Woody Allen's new film SCOOP because it gave him an opportunity to honour the Daily Mail and Daily Express foreign correspondent and columnist. MCShane, who is a close friend of Benson's widow - British royal expert INGRID SEWARD, says, "I didn't exactly base the character on Ross but I did remember him as I worked on my character. "Ross Benson was a reporter and did everything from beauty pageants to films to wars; he was all over the place." Benson, a former classmate of Prince Charles' at top Scottish school Gordonstoun, died last year (05). While MCShane loved playing a journalist in the new comedy, which also stars Hugh Jackman and Scarlett Johansson, he fears he could never play an American hack. He adds, "I think American journalism has been a bit emasculated in the last few years. "Fleet Street (London) journalism is full of the real investigative journalists, who live there."