BBC One is bringing a dose of real-life drama to screens on Sunday night as its serial The Trial Of Christine Keeler kicks off.
The six-part drama tells the story of the Profumo Affair, in which showgirl Keeler and her friend Mandy Rice-Davies were involved in a political scandal centring around Keeler’s affair with MP John Profumo and her friendship with society osteopath Stephen Ward.
The ensuing fallout from the affair was cited with bringing down then Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, followed by the government some time later.
This new adaptation, told from Keeler’s point of view, has assembled an impressive cast to play the figures involved – but just how do they compare to their real-life counterparts?
Let’s take a look…
Christine Keeler (Sophie Cookson)
Sophie Cookson (left) takes on the role of Christine Keeler (right), whose brief affair with John Profumo had far-reaching consequences. Cookson has previously been seen in the likes of Gypsy, The Huntsman: Winter’s War and the Kingsman movies, in which she plays Roxy.
Ellie Bamber (Mandy Rice-Davies)
Actress Ellie Bamber appears in the serial as Mandy Rice-Davies, the showgirl and friend of Keeler who was also heavily involved with Stephen Ward and his subsequent trial. The show sess Bamber back on screen exactly a year after she appeared in another big BBC drama, Les Miserables, in which she played Cosette.
Ben Miles (John Profumo)
Ben Miles plays MP John Profumo, whose affair with Christine Keeler led to his later resigning from government. Elsewhere Miles has had an extensive career which includes appearances in The Crown, Coupling, The Forsyte Saga, Cold Feet, Peak Practice and 2019 miniseries The Capture.
James Norton (Stephen Ward)
James Norton stars as the society osteopath Stephen Ward, whose was a key figure in the scandal after introducing Christine Keeler to John Profumo. Norton’s previous credits include BBC One drama McMafia as well as Grantchester, the 2016 adaptation of War and Peace, Death Comes To Pemberley and the 2016 Black Mirror episode Nosedive.
Emilia Fox (Valerie Hobson Profumo)
Actress Emilia Fox is also in the show as Valerie Hobson Profumo, the actress wife of John Profumo. Fox’s lengthy list of screen credits include the likes of Merlin, the Tunnel, JK Rowling adaptation The Casual Vacancy and Sky series Delicious – although she’s probably best known as Dr Nikki Alexander in Silent Witness, which returns to screens in January.
Nathan Stewart-Jarrett (Johnny Edgecombe)
Nathan Stewart-Jarrett plays Christine Keeler’s lover Johnny Edgecombe, whose actions after their breakup ultimately led to her affair with Profumo being revealed. And this isn’t the only thing you’ll be seeing Stewart-Jarrett in in the coming weeks – as the actor, who’s also been in Adulting, Prey, Utopia and Misfits, will be seen in the BBC adaptation of Dracula which begins on New Year’s Day.
The Trial Of Christine Keeler kicks off on BBC One on Sunday night at 9pm and continues on Monday night at 9pm.
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