admin     01 / 16 / 2020

The BBC released today (January 15) the first images of The Serpent. In one of the photos we can see Ellie alongside actor Billy Howle who plays her husband in the series.

The eight-part series, produced by Mammoth Screen, debuts on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in the UK and Netflix internationally.

Tahar Rahim plays killer Charles Sobhraj and Jenna Coleman his partner Marie-Andrée Leclerc, and Billy Howle and Ellie Bamber play Herman and Angela Knippenberg.

Inspired by real events, The Serpent tells the remarkable story of how Sobhraj (Rahim) was captured. As the chief suspect in unsolved murders of young Western travellers across India, Thailand and Nepal’s ‘Hippie Trail’ in 1975 and 1976, Sobhraj had repeatedly slipped from the grasp of authorities worldwide to become Interpol’s most wanted man, with arrest warrants on three different continents.
When Herman Knippenberg (Howle), a junior diplomat at the Dutch Embassy in Bangkok, unwittingly walked into Sobhraj’s intricate web of crime, he set off an extraordinary chain of events that saw Knippenberg seek to bring Sobhraj to justice for his terrible crimes.
The Serpent also features Tim McInnerny, Alice Englert, Mathilde Warnier, Gregoire Isvarine, Sahajak Boonthanakit, Fabien Frankel, Chicha Amatayakul, Surasak Chaiyaat, Ruby Ashbourne-Serkis, Armand Rosbak, Ellie de Lange, Ilker Kaleli and screen newcomer Amesh Edireweera in key roles across the series
Commissioned by BBC One, The Serpent (8×60′) is produced by Mammoth Screen, part of ITV Studios, and is a co-production between BBC One and Netflix. It is written by Richard Warlow and Toby Finlay, directed by Tom Shankland and Hans Herbots, produced by Stephen Smallwood, and executive produced by Richard Warlow, Tom Shankland, Preethi Mavahalli and Damien Timmer for Mammoth Screen.
The Serpent, filmed on location in Thailand, will premiere on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in the UK, and on Netflix outside of the UK and Ireland.

GALLERY LINK

admin     12 / 30 / 2019

On (December 19), Ellie was on ITV’s ‘This Morning’. In her first TV interview, Ellie spoke about The Trial of Christine Keeler, Mandy Rice-Davies, and why she was the misunderstood heroine of the scandal and the importance of retelling events from a female perspective in the MeToo era. Watch the full interview below.

admin     12 / 30 / 2019

‘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.

admin     12 / 29 / 2019

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.