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 TIMES: The true story of the BBC’s The Trial of Christine Keeler

Full exclusive interview of The Times magazine with the cast of ‘The Trial of Christine Keeler‘.

The Trial of Christine Keeler was filmed in Bristol, some of whose citizens turned out to have long, unkind and not necessarily accurate memories of an affair that became Britain’s gold standard for political sex scandals. One morning, Sophie Cookson, who in this new BBC drama plays Keeler, the young woman credited with bringing down a prime minister, overheard a shopper as she passed the shoot. “Oh yes, well, she was the prostitute,” she educated her companion.

“For me,” Cookson says in a photo studio in London a few months later, “it was just like, ‘Gosh, some people are so fixed in their opinion about it and so quick to judge.’ I think as a society we need to be forgiving and understanding and kind to each other. All Christine did was have an affair with a man she found attractive. And yet that led to this whirlwind of chaos, which she lived with throughout her life.”

The man Keeler found attractive was John Profumo, the archaically named secretary of state for war in an exhausted Tory government. An Old Harrovian, decorated war hero and philanderer, Profumo was 46 when he met Keeler, this astoundingly beautiful working-class girl from Berkshire, the product of an unhappy upbringing in a pair of converted railway carriages. The venue for their encounter was, in cinematic contrast, a sunny, champagne-drenched summer party at Cliveden, the country home of Lord Astor, a former Tory MP who had inherited his wealth from Waldorf Astor, his newspaper-proprietor father. Keeler was 19 and naked, having emerged from the viscount’s outdoor swimming pool. Profumo kept looking. Their liaison was brief – a couple of months, perhaps – but at the same party was another guest, Yevgeny Ivanov, assistant navy attaché and spy at the Soviet embassy. Keeler, it was said – and it may even have been true – also slept with him, possibly later that very afternoon.

The Cold War was never hotter than when this supposed love triangle rang out.

The Profumo affair – a double entendre in its very naming – was born. It reached a pause two years later when, on June 5, 1963, buried under an avalanche of press speculation, Profumo resigned, admitting he had lied when he had told parliament ten weeks earlier there was “no impropriety whatsoever” in his “acquaintance with Miss Keeler”. The Times published a leader, “It Is a Moral Issue”, accusing the prime minister, Harold Macmillan, of “debauching” the nation. In October that year, Macmillan quit during the Conservative Party conference, his resignation relayed from the hospital where he was being operated on for a benign tumour on his prostate.

The Profumo drama almost immediately recommissioned itself a second season. Six weeks on, Stephen Ward, an osteopath, artist and friend to high society who had introduced Keeler to both the spy and the cabinet minister, went on trial at the Old Bailey accused of procuring and living off immoral earnings. Keeler appeared for the prosecution, claiming Ward had turned her into a prostitute. In what is now seen as a miscarriage of justice and an establishment stitch-up, the scapegoat was found guilty. As the verdict was pronounced, he lay dying of an overdose. A suicide note read that while he was sorry to disappoint the “vultures”, he felt the day was lost, an insouciance in the charmer’s voice remaining to the last.

Like “the Profumo affair”, “the trial of Stephen Ward” became a phrase. Half a century on, The Trial of Christine Keeler subverts both dashes of shorthand. Firmly at the centre of its story is Keeler herself, variously over the years regarded as either a vixen or a victim, but in this clever retelling by the screenwriter Amanda Coe – and thanks to Cookson’s astounding performance – not quite either. Surrounding Cookson in the imbroglio are James Norton as the enigmatic Ward, Ellie Bamber as Keeler’s chipper friend Mandy Rice-Davies and Ben Miles as the lothario Profumo. In a series of interviews, each actor speaks to me with loyalty to the morally ambiguous, now departed figures they stand in for, although none is probably as indignantly faithful as Cookson is to Keeler.

Continue reading “THE TIMES: The true story of the BBC’s The Trial of Christine Keeler”

VOGUE UK: In ‘The Trial of Christine Keeler’, Sophie Cookson And Ellie Bamber Set The Record Straight

The Vogue UK published their exclusive interview with Ellie and Sophie Cookson as part of the promotion of ‘The Trial of Christine Keeler‘ which hits BBC One on December 29th.

Nearly 60 years after she shook Britain’s moral foundations to breaking point, a retro-glam sheen still lingers, like the faded smell of hairspray or a lipstick-marked cigarette, over the life of Christine Keeler. Now, a gripping six-part television drama – set to dominate post-Christmas viewing when it arrives on BBC One later this month – wants to unpick the myths and expose the misogyny that sealed the fate of one of the 20th century’s most hounded women.

Firstly, says Ellie Bamber, who plays Keeler’s showgirl confidante Mandy Rice-Davies with eerie accuracy, it’s important to note that the girls (and they were practically still girls) at the centre of the Profumo affair – the notorious early-1960s scandal that played a part in bringing Harold Macmillan’s Conservative government to its knees – were not prostitutes. “They were just two young women who liked having sex. Absolutely nothing wrong with that,” she says. Sophie Cookson, who plays Keeler, agrees. “They weren’t willing to play by the rules and let The Establishment control them.

Lavishly costumed and easy on the eye, The Trial of Christine Keeler – also starring James Norton and Emilia Fox – provides a heady jolt of escapist nostalgia, but its makers have a bigger mission: to snatch back a narrative. For the first time, Keeler’s extraordinary tale is in the hands of an all-female creative team, from writer Amanda Coe (Apple Tree Yard) to director Andrea Harkin (Clique), with fascinating results. “What’s so brilliant about this,” says Cookson, a high-cheekboned chameleon, best known for her supporting role in the Kingsman franchise, “is it’s truly seeing it from her perspective. Vivid, complicated, nervous, brave…

Bamber, who returns to the BBC after triumphing in December 2018’s Les Misérables, nods, furious at Keeler and Rice-Davies’s treatment. “It was hideous. They weren’t allowed to talk for themselves. They were totally used as scapegoats by men in power.

A Soviet spy, a minister for war, a topless encounter at the swimming pool at Cliveden, a photoshoot on an imitation Arne Jacobson chair… for a generation of baby boomers, the tropes of Keeler’s life are as vivid as the moon landing or the Suez Crisis. A beautiful, working-class girl from Middlesex, whose hardscrabble upbringing was beset by sexual abuse, the teenage Keeler fled to London to become a model but instead found herself a hit on the shady party circuit of Mayfair’s elite. In 1961 – thanks to her friendship with society osteopath and artist Stephen Ward, who rubbed shoulders with everyone from Prince Phillip to Lord Astor – Keeler had overlapping affairs with John Profumo, secretary of state for war, and Yevgeny Ivanov, a Soviet naval attaché and spy.

Continue reading “VOGUE UK: In ‘The Trial of Christine Keeler’, Sophie Cookson And Ellie Bamber Set The Record Straight”

Ellie Bamber attends ‘The Trial of Christine Keeler’ Premiere

Ellie Bamber attended the UK premiere and Press Junket of ‘The Trial Of Christine Keeler‘ at Content London on December 04, 2019 in London, England.

Ellie posed for photos next to her co-stars Sophie Cookson, Emilia Fox, James Norton and Anthony Welsh.

The Trial of Christine Keeler‘ will start on Sunday 29th December at 9pm on BBC One.

Episode two follows on Monday 30th December at 9pm.

See all photos by clicking on the thumbnails below.

GALLERY LINK

Ellie Bamber attends the Tory Burch Holiday Party hosted by Elizabeth Saltzman

Ellie Bamber flashes a smile as she attends the Tory Burch holiday party hosted by her new stylist Elizabeth Saltzman on Tuesday evening (December 3) at the Ladder Shed at the Chiltern Firehouse in London, England.

Ellie looked gorgeous wearing a leather jacket and other Tory Burch pieces for The dinner. See all photos by clicking on the thumbnails below.

GALLERY LINK

 
 
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