Film­ing starts for Pro­fumo af­fair drama

Bristol Post - - NEWS - John HOUSEMAN bris­tol­post­[email protected]­cal­

FILM­ING of a new drama about one of the defin­ing scan­dals of the 1960s be­gan this week in Bris­tol. The Pro­fumo af­fair rocked the es­tab­lish­ment to its core when it came to light in 1963.

So­phie Cook­son, James Nor­ton and Emilia Fox are to star in the new drama for BBC One, it has been an­nounced.

The six-part series, The Trial Of Chris­tine Keeler, will fea­ture Kings­man ac­tress Cook­son as the model at the cen­tre of one of the UK’s big­gest scan­dals of the 20th cen­tury.

Keeler’s af­fair with Tory cab­i­net min­is­ter John Pro­fumo and a Rus­sian diplo­mat at the same time at the height of the Cold War dom­i­nated head­lines in the 1960s and nearly de­stroyed Harold Macmil­lan’s gov­ern­ment.

Pro­fumo, who was even­tu­ally forced to re­sign af­ter ly­ing to Par­lia­ment about the af­fair, will be played by Ben Miles, while Nor­ton will play Stephen Ward, who was tried for liv­ing off “im­moral earn­ings” af­ter claims that he in­tro­duced women, in­clud­ing Keeler, to rich clients.

Penned by nov­el­ist Amanda Coe, and di­rected by An­drea Harkin, the series aims to take a fresh look at the scan­dal and ex­am­ine the sex­ual and cul­tural pol­i­tics of the events.

Cook­son said: “I’m de­lighted to be play­ing Chris­tine Keeler in this new drama. Amanda Coe has writ­ten an il­lu­mi­nat­ing script about a vivid, com­plex woman who has pre­vi­ously, it seems, been re­duced and mis­un­der­stood.

“Now feels like the per­fect time to re­con­sider her life, and re­dress the bal­ance.”

Noc­tur­nal An­i­mals ac­tress El­lie Bam­ber will play Keeler’s friend, Mandy Rice-Davies, while Fox will play Pro­fumo’s wife, Va­lerie.

Nathan Ste­wart-Jar­rett will play Johnny Edge­combe and An­thony Welsh will play Aloy­sius “Lucky” Gor­don.

Piers Wenger, con­troller of BBC Drama, said: “Cast­ing ac­tresses who could au­then­ti­cally con­vey the age and ex­pe­ri­ence of the young women at the cen­tre of this piece was key to achiev­ing Amanda’s vi­sion for this story.

“I’m de­lighted that we have two ac­tresses of such cal­i­bre in the roles of Chris­tine and Mandy, and ac­tors of real skill and com­plex­ity in James and Ben, to play along­side them.”

So­phie Cook­son, left, will play the role of Chris­tine Keeler

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