Ellie Bamber Network

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Welcome to Ellie Bamber Network, your best and most reliable online resource dedicated to the english actress and singer Ellie Bamber. You may know Ellie from her roles in Les Misérables, Nocturnal Animals, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and more. It is our aim to bring you all the latest news, exclusive photos, information and much more on Ellies life and career. We hope you enjoy your stay and please come back soon!

The Trial of Christine Keeler: What are the critics saying?

‘The Trial of Christine Keeler’ premiered yesterday and today we continue with the second episode that will air at 9pm on BBC One. But before that check out what critics are saying about the show.

The Times – ⭐⭐⭐⭐

“A scandal imbued with a stylish exoticism”

“Does have two terrific actors in the roles of Keeler (Sophie Cookson is magnetic) and Mandy Rice-Davies (Ellie Bamber, recently Cosette in Les Misérables) using sex as their only card to play. They look and sound authentic, young women getting by from day to day.”

“I did like much of Amanda Coe’s script, which dropped occasional gems and evoked the dry wit of Rice-Davies.”

The Stylist

“Although this might be a story many people think they know, The Trial of Christine Keeler is shining a new light on what happened during the Profumo Affair. The show is giving its female characters a real voice, and reframing the story to put the blame where it should have been: at the hands of the grown men who threw a teenage girl under the bus to save their reputations. As Christine says in a voiceover at the end of episode one: “It’s true terrible crimes have been committed, but not by me.”

The Guardian – ⭐⭐⭐⭐

“The Trial its fallout, it remains a furiously fast, fun ride which doesn’t let the deeper, darker issues fall from its grasp.

The Independent – ⭐⭐⭐

“The Trial of Christine Keeler is a timely story of sleazy politicians.

“With six hour-long episodes to play with, The Trial of Christine Keeler has space to develop its characters beyond the headlines, and for Coe to tease out subtexts about racism, sexism, and nuclear anxiety alongside the central theme of powerful men abusing their positions. Admonished by a lover for a suit so tight that it reveals his penis, Profumo muses that after the bloodless Macmillan, the British public might be ready for a prime minister with a “working todger”. It’s a horribly timely thought.

The Telegraph – ⭐⭐⭐⭐

“Cookson was a fine Keeler: as gorgeous as the real thing, she was keenly aware of her sex appeal but already weary of the ways in which she had to deploy it in order to get by. It was easy to see why every man she met was beguiled, and also how her capriciousness sometimes led to trouble. Ellie Bamber, meanwhile, made for a perky Mandy Rice-Davies, her eye on the main chance. Both were a mix of worldliness and vulnerability.”

“Norton imbued his character with a creepiness from the moment we met him. Each addressal of Keeler as “little baby” made you shift more uncomfortably in your seat.”

“It was a compelling history lesson, and – more than that – one that might help to repair the reputation of a much-maligned young woman.

INews – ⭐⭐⭐

“It looks fantastic and the supporting cast are excellent, particularly Ellie Bamber as Mandy Rice Davies – yet to utter the immortal courtroom riposte “well he would, wouldn’t he?” but already a more worldly and far-sighted friend to Christine.”

Radio Times – ⭐⭐⭐⭐

“Ellie Bamber (Nocturnal Animals, Les Misérables) cements her rising star status as Christine’s friend Mandy Rice-Davies, of “he would, wouldn’t he?” fame.”

“The story hops all over the timeline, as every drama these days is seemingly obliged to do, gradually revealing its tapestry of sex, lies and scandal.”

“But there’s something about the characters in this particular drama that, coupled with the evocative Cold War backdrop, makes the story as compelling today as it was to the people following every twist and turn in the headlines six decades ago.

Cultura Whisper – ⭐⭐⭐⭐

“Coe shakes off these perceptions with well-researched and often sexy intrigue, all while never feeling exploitative. She emphasises an under-represented fact, not generally understood in the years prior to the sexual revolution: Christine Keeler was a teenager who enjoyed having fun.”

“Sophie Cookson conveys with vivid realism. Keeler’s loving life and she’s a joy to watch.”

“Coe shows the many horrific examples of misogyny in Christine’s life.”

“History hasn’t been kind to her, but this series gives her the empathy and respect she deserved.”

Daily Mail – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“Coe allowed us to glimpse the events swirling around Christine’s dysfunctional life: The arch conversations behind closed doors at MI5 or in newspaper offices.  Mostly, though, this was her story through her eyes, with many gaps that she, unlike her friend Mandy, wasn’t bright enough or worldly enough to fill in.”

“For the first time, this drama gives us an impression of who she was – reckless, naive, needy, a panicky drama princess who had been treated as a sexual object by much older men from the time she was old enough to start babysitting for their children.”

For those who reside outside the UK, you can watch BBC One live here.

METRO: Ellie Bamber untold Mandy Rice-Davies story

The Trial of Christine Keeler launches on BBC One tonight and with it comes a charming performance from Ellie Bamber as real-life rebel Mandy Rice-Davies, best friend of the titular model. Mandy subsequently found herself at the centre of the world’s biggest scandal as her best friend had sexual relationships wth both War Minister John Profumo and Soviet naval attache Captain Yevgeny Mikhailovich Ivanov during the Cold War.

Naturally, Christine’s flings sparked a national security inquiry as the Conservative Party lead by PM Harold Macmillan feared the dancer could have passed vital information between the two sparring sides, which subsequently caused the collapse of the government.

Mandy and Christine were both dancers at Murray’s Cabaret Soho Club where they first met the well-connected Dr Stephen Ward who introduced Mandy to her lover Peter Rachman.

While Mandy never met Profumo, she gained notoriety during Stephen’s trial when he was found guilty of living off immoral earnings – Mandy and Christine’s ‘immoral earnings’. Essentially, the osteopath worked as a pimp to climb the social rankings of London. The girls were mere teenagers, but proved themselves as ferocious women when the government, the press and the public deemed them as ‘trash’. No wonder then, Ellie thinks her subject is ‘f**king great’.

‘I just think she’s so brave,’ she told Metro.co.uk. ‘It’s a really special quality to have. I think that was thing the thing: she was always able to smile through it and she had this incredible sense of humour.’ Ellie never got meet her new idol, but she was fortunate enough to get a rare insight into Mandy from her daughter, Dana. ‘I only spoke to her after [filming] but she gave me some incredible stories,’ Ellie continued.

‘To give an explanation of Mandy, they were driving and the police stopped them and Mandy just switched into this French accent and started speaking to the police and started saying, “Sorry, I don’t know where? What you’re talking about.” And dana was saying, “what are you doing with that accent?” So I got these beautiful special stories from her.’

Mandy died in 2014, and subsequently had no idea the BBC were going to explore her teenage years again for a six part drama. Christine, however, was told about The Trial of Christine Keeler shortly after production got the green light before her death in 2017.

The Trial of Christine Keeler starts tonight at 9pm on BBC One. 

HistoryExtra: Christine Keeler and Mandy Rice-Davies: the women at the heart of the Profumo Affair

Actors Sophie Cookson and Ellie Bamber – who play teenagers Christine Keeler and Mandy Rice-Davies in The Trial of Christine Keeler – tell Jonathan Wright about researching their characters for new BBC One drama…

Jonathan Wright: Can you tell us about the research you did?

Sophie Cookson: For me, it was all about looking at [screenwriter] Amanda Coe’s script and finding out who the true Christine Keeler really was. She wrote several books, so they were incredibly useful in getting a more rounded picture of who she was rather than this fated woman that was just surrounded by scandal.

JW: Do you think the series might set the record straight and re-establish the characters in people’s mind in a different way?

SC: I would love that to be the case. I think it’s grossly unfair the way these girls have been treated. Particularly Christine, I think. Mandy very much used the press for her own good.

Ellie Bamber: Yeah, which is quite incredible really, because she didn’t allow this event to affect the rest of her life. She was a young woman who didn’t allow men and all of these people calling her terrible names to get to her.

JW: Do you think the series might set the record straight and re-establish the characters in people’s mind in a different way?

SC: I would love that to be the case. I think it’s grossly unfair the way these girls have been treated. Particularly Christine, I think. Mandy very much used the press for her own good.

Ellie Bamber: Yeah, which is quite incredible really, because she didn’t allow this event to affect the rest of her life. She was a young woman who didn’t allow men and all of these people calling her terrible names to get to her.

JW: How were they different as characters?

EB: Playing Mandy has been a hoot and a half for me, because I’ve had so much fun. Mandy just has this amazing, gregarious, front-footed energy, she is go-get-’em all the time. Her idea of everything is she doesn’t care overly what people think of her and she goes into [things thinking], “Just keep my head high and it’ll be fine”. And I think the interesting thing with Mandy is that she’s very intelligent, but she also has this way with men that I find very interesting, which is that she knows how to manipulate them. She treats men like children that she has to placate.

They’re different in lots of ways, but they’re also quite similar deep down because, at the end of the day, they are two very young girls who haven’t had strong parental figures in their lives at all.

SC: Christine grew up in a converted railway carriage with no electricity or running water, with a stepfather who abused her, and several other people [did] as well. She induced her own abortion – that was before she’s even moved to London and when she’s still a teenager. If someone has been through that, there is no way they can be that vivacious, always-life-and-soul-of-the-party because she’s already on the back foot, she’s wary about people’s behaviour.

JW: Why was Christine Keeler so attacked?

SC: She was the epitome of what a person shouldn’t be in [some people’s] eyes and she was a disgrace. They were outraged by her presence. I think nowadays it’s quite hard to imagine the word ‘prostitute’ coming with such weight. We throw it about in everyday parlance, but it was a horrific thing to be called a prostitute and people were disgusted by both of them.

JW: What was at the root of their friendship?

SC: I think there was a real sisterhood between them.

EB: The story of how they met is really amazing. They were in [Soho club] Murray’s together and apparently, they didn’t like each other to begin with. They were a bit, “Hmm, there’s Christine, I’m not going to talk to her.” And Christine did something like take one of Mandy’s eyeliners, and Mandy got very cross about that. She grabbed a handful of talcum powder – she knew there was a fan spinning in Christine’s room, and she’d just put fresh cream and makeup on her face – so she ran into the dressing room and threw talcum powder at the fan. Christine was covered in the powder and they apparently then burst into laughter, and that’s how they became friends.

JW: What do you make of Stephen Ward? He’s an ambiguous figure.

SC: I think Stephen is ambiguous and I think Christine would have said the same. In [a] Sue Lawley interview [for chat show Wogan in 1989], she says: “If Stephen were still alive today, we would be living together, we would be with each other but not in the conventional sense people understand, that a woman and a man have to be in a sexual relationship,” which they were not. And she clearly loved him deeply, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t an aspect of his character that she wasn’t quite sure of, and she did feel at moments like he was being a bit oppressive or wanted to escape but didn’t quite know how. I have no doubt that there was nothing but love for him there.

The Trial of Christine Keeler starts tonight at 9pm on BBC One.

See Ellie as Mandy Rice-Davies by clicking on the thumbnails below.

GALLERY LINK

the Balance podcast: Ellie Bamber on changing perceptions, staying grounded and the joy of reading

Episode 65: Ellie Bamber on changing perceptions, staying grounded and the joy of reading

Remember the name: Ellie Bamber.

One of Britain’s most-exciting (and, we’d like to add, loveliest) acting talents has the world by the tail with a CV that is positively eye-watering.

The Trial Of Christine Keeler is up next and is one of the BBC’s flagship shows across the festive season.