Ellie Bamber practised Mandy Rice-Davies' iconic line with her friends for Profumo scandal series

It has been nearly six decades since British politics was rocked by the Profumo affair scandal. 

And Ellie Bamber has spoke about her new role as nightclub dancer Mandy Rice-Davies in BBC‘s upcoming drama series The Trial of Christine Keeler on Thursday’s episode of This Morning.  

The Nocturnal Animals star, 22, stars alongside Sophie Cookson, 29, who plays model Christine Keeler, whose sexual liaisons with Tory Minister John Profumo and a Russian military attache led to one of the biggest political scandals of modern times.

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New role: Ellie Bamber has spoke about her new role as nightclub dancer Mandy Rice-Davies in BBC's upcoming drama series The Trial of Christine Keeler on Thursday's episode of This Morning

New role: Ellie Bamber has spoke about her new role as nightclub dancer Mandy Rice-Davies in BBC’s upcoming drama series The Trial of Christine Keeler on Thursday’s episode of This Morning

The scandal contributed to the resignation of then-Prime Minister Harold Macmillan in October 1963 and the toppling of his Conservative government the following year. 

Talking about the BBC drama series and her role as Christine’s party companion, Ellie revealed that she has been practising Mandy’s iconic line ‘well he would, wouldn’t he’ with her friends.

The famous phrase gained notoriety when in the witness box of the Old Bailey she dismissed a denial by Lord Astor that he had slept with her, saying: ‘Well, he would, wouldn’t he?’  

Iconic: Talking about the BBC drama series and her role as Christine Keeler's party companion, the Nocturnal Animals star, 22, revealed that she has been practising Mandy's iconic line 'well he would, wouldn't he' with her friends

Iconic: Talking about the BBC drama series and her role as Christine Keeler’s party companion, the Nocturnal Animals star, 22, revealed that she has been practising Mandy’s iconic line ‘well he would, wouldn’t he’ with her friends

Uncanny: Ellie pictured on This Morning

Real life: Mandy Rice-Davies pictured in the late sixties

Uncanny: Ellie, pictured on This Morning, left, and Mandy Rice-Davies, pictured right, in the late sixties 

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. 

In character: Ellie stars alongside Sophie Cookson, 29, who plays model Christine Keeler, whose sexual liaisons with Tory Minister John Profumo and a Russian military attache led to one of the biggest political scandals of modern times (both pictured in character)

In character: Ellie stars alongside Sophie Cookson, 29, who plays model Christine Keeler, whose sexual liaisons with Tory Minister John Profumo and a Russian military attache led to one of the biggest political scandals of modern times (both pictured in character) 

‘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.’ 

Scandal: The scandal contributed to the resignation of then-Prime Minister Harold Macmillan in October 1963 and the toppling of his Conservative government the following year (Christine Keeler pictured in 1963)

Role: Sophie Cookson pictured in character as Christine Keeler on the BBC show

Scandal: The scandal contributed to the resignation of then-Prime Minister Harold Macmillan in October 1963 and the toppling of his Conservative government the following year (Christine Keeler pictured in 1963, left, and Sophie Cookson in character as her, right) 

Iconic: Mandy's famous phrase gained notoriety when in the witness box of the Old Bailey she dismissed a denial by Lord Astor that he had slept with her, saying: 'Well, he would, wouldn't he?'

Iconic: Mandy’s famous phrase gained notoriety when in the witness box of the Old Bailey she dismissed a denial by Lord Astor that he had slept with her, saying: ‘Well, he would, wouldn’t he?’

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.

Choice: 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' (Ellie and co-star Sophie pictured at a photocall earlier this month for the series)

Choice: 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’ (Ellie and co-star Sophie pictured at a photocall earlier this month for the series)  

Ellie said: '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 said: ‘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.’

Mandy died in December 2014  aged 70 after a short battle with cancer. 

She had previously said: ‘If I could live my life over, I would wish 1963 had not existed. The only reason I still want to talk about it is that I have to fight the misconception that I was a prostitute. 

‘I don’t want that to be passed on to my grandchildren. There is still a stigma.’

She also insisted there were no secrets which she would take to the grave: ‘Everything is out. That is why I have no concerns whatsoever about anything.’

No judging! 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'

No judging! 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’

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. 

Watch it: The Trial of Christine Keeler starts on Sunday 29 December at 9pm on BBC One

Watch it: The Trial of Christine Keeler starts on Sunday 29 December at 9pm on BBC One 

What was the  Profumo affair? 

The Profumo affair had it all – sex, lies and espionage. It broke at the height of the Cold War, when spying was rife and the threat of war was imminent with the outbreak of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Here we look back at how the scandal unfolded:

April 1960: At the height of the Cold War, Christine Keeler, having left her home in Wraysbury, Berks, heads for London and begins working at Murray’s Cabaret Club in Soho. It is there that she meets Dr Stephen Ward, a London osteopath. Within weeks she had moved into his Bayswater flat. She soon meets Mandy Rice-Davies at Murray’s and the pair become party companions.

July 1961: Ward introduces 19-year-old Keeler to Secretary of State for War, John Profumo, while at a party thrown by Lord and Lady Astor at their stately home in Cliveden at Taplow, Bucks. Keeler and Profumo embark on an affair lasting only a few weeks. At the same time, she becomes involved in an affair with Commander Eugene Ivanov, a Soviet naval attaché at the Russian Embassy in London.

March 1963: After months of speculation among MPs, Profumo is forced to face the Commons, where he says: ‘There was no impropriety whatever in my acquaintance with Miss Keeler and I have made the statement because of what was said yesterday in the House by three honourable members whose remarks were protected by privilege.’

June 1963: Ward is arrested in Watford and taken to Marylebone Police Station where he is charged with living off immoral earnings. His trial soon begins at the Old Bailey.

June 5, 1963: Profumo resigns his Cabinet post after admitting lying to the House of Commons about the nature of his relationship with Keeler.

August 1963: On the last day of his trial, Ward is found dead at his London home having taken an overdose of sleeping pills.

December 1963: Keeler is found guilty of perjury in a related trial and imprisoned for nine months.

1989: The Profumo affair is made into a film called Scandal, starring John Hurt, Ian McKellen and Joanne Whalley.

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