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Sophie Cookson and James Norton lead The Trial of Christine Keeler for BBC

Sophie Cookson

Story by Jack Foley

SOPHIE Cookson, James Norton, Emilia Fox and Ben Miles lead a stellar cast in BAFTA award-winning novelist Amanda Coe’s six-part drama, The Trial of Christine Keeler, for BBC One.

Cookson (Kingsman: The Secret Service, Gypsy, Red Joan) leads the cast in the role of Christine Keeler, while Norton (McMafia, War and Peace) plays Stephen Ward.

Written by BAFTAaward-winning novelist and screenwriter Amanda Coe (Apple Tree Yard, Room at the Top, Life in Squares) and directed by Andrea Harkin (Come Home, Clique), The Trial of Christine Keeler takes a fresh look at one of the most infamous British stories: the chain of events in the 1960s that came to be known as the Profumo Affair.

At the centre of the storm was 19-year-old Christine Keeler – a young woman whom the powerful, male-dominated establishment sought to silence and exploit, but who refused to play by their rules.

The Trial of Christine Keeler takes us behind the headlines to tell a human story about the sexual and cultural politics of one of the most revealing and iconic stories of modern times.

Also joining the star-studded ensemble are Ellie Bamber (Les Miserables, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, Nocturnal Animals) as Mandy Rice-Davies, Ben Miles (The Crown, The Last Post) as John Profumo and Emilia Fox (Silent Witness, Delicious) as Valerie Profumo.

Nathan Stewart-Jarrett (Angels in America, Mope) plays Johnny Edgecombe and Anthony Welsh (Journeyman, Black Mirror, Starred Up) plays Aloysius “Lucky” Gordon.

Filming began this week in Bristol.

Cookson commented: “I’m delighted to be playing Christine Keeler in this new drama. Amanda Coe has written an illuminating script about a vivid, complex woman who has previously, it seems, been reduced and misunderstood. Now feels like the perfect time to reconsider her life, and redress the balance.”

Norton added: “I’m delighted to be working with the BBC on this fantastic drama. The opportunity to play Stephen Ward alongside this stellar cast and crew is something I’m really looking forward to.”

Kate Triggs, Executive Producer for Ecosse Films, said: “I am thrilled that Amanda’s wonderful scripts have attracted such an exciting and stunning cast. They all bring something unique and fresh to the story and will be so compelling to watch. Sophie Cookson is the perfect Christine, embodying all her complexity and incredible spirit”.

And Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, said: “Casting actresses who could authentically convey the age and experience of the young women at the centre of this piece was key to achieving Amanda’s vision for this story. I’m delighted that we have two actresses of such calibre in the roles of Christine and Mandy, and actors of real skill and complexity in James and Ben, to play alongside them.”

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