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!

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.

Ellie practised Mandy Rice-Davies’ iconic line ‘well he would, wouldn’t he’ with her friends for new BBC drama ‘The Trial of Christine Keeler’

Ellie was this morning on ITV’s ‘This Morning’ talking about The Trial of Cristine Keeler and Mandy Rice Davies. During the interview Ellie revealed that her friends helped her practice Mandy Rice Davies’ iconic line ‘well he would, wouldn’t he’.

Ellie said: ‘All my friends were like, “Oh, do you want to practice with us?” 

‘I think I read Mandy’s book and she said it came from a very honest place. There’s still no way of telling whether she did or not but it came from a very honest place.’ 

Talking about the series, Ellie continued: ‘Christine and Mandy were two young girls who worked at Murray’s Club they were always… their clients were men of high power, Keeler had a relationship with John Profumo, and he denied that. 

‘He was set to be the next Prime Minister. Keeler also supposedly had an affair with a Russian spy, we don’t know if that did happen, but it supposedly brought the government to its knees. 

‘Both the girls, Mandy [Ellie’s character] had an affair with Lord Astor, and both the girls were put on trial for being prostitutes.’ 

Ellie added that she doesn’t believe Mandy or Christine were ‘given a voice’ and were just ‘two young women having fun and enjoying their sexuality’.

She said: ‘I think Mandy and Christine weren’t really given a voice, they were just two young women who were having fun and enjoying their sexuality.

Men were able to enjoy their sexuality and women were told off for that. All of our heads of department bar one were female so it was extraordinary to show it from a female side.’

Ellie also insisted people shouldn’t ‘judge’ Mandy or Christine, she continued: ‘I think people shouldn’t be so quick to judge two young women who were having fun, they weren’t doing anything wrong and they weren’t abusing their power.’

She added: ‘Mandy had an extraordinary life after that she became a millionaire, in the face of this horrible event she was able to. 

She had guts and was able to smile, saying “I don’t care what you thing, I’m going to get on with things”.’ 

Mandy went on to appear in a Tom Stoppard play, films and even sung cabaret in Germany. She married Israeli businessman Rafi Shauli in 1966 with the two running a chain of restaurants together, they had daughter, Dana, but divorced in 1971. 

She then married a Frenchman called Jean Charles – but only for about a week, she claimed. 

Soon afterwards she met her third husband, British businessman Ken Foreman and they married on a private island and lived on Grove Isle, a salubrious part of Miami. They had other homes, in the Bahamas and Virginia Water, Surrey.

Ellie revealed that she ‘fell in love‘ with the show and even wore a top of her grandmothers to get her into character with her brother, Lucas, impressed with the set design.

She said: ‘It was great honestly I fell in love with it, in the show I wear a top of my grandmothers. 

‘The production team who design all the sets are incredible, my brother was opening all the drawers and couldn’t believe there were things in the drawers.’

The six-part series is set to reassess Christine Keeler’s experiences through the ‘female gaze’. 

The Trial of Christine Keeler starts on Sunday 29 December at 9pm on BBC One.