Andrew Lloyd-Webber, BBC, Caroline Kennedy, Christine Keeler, Cliveden, Ernest Marples, Eugene Ivanov, Geoffrey Robertson, George Wigg, Harold Macmillan, John Profumo, Keeler Profumo Ward and Me, Lord Astor, Lord Denning, Lord Hailsham, Mandy Rice-Davies, Natalie Livingstone, Profumo Affair, Stephen Pound, Stephen Ward, Thomas Critchley, Tom Mangold
“The story that defined a decade of great change in Great Britain was my big break in Fleet Street, and I covered and loved every moment of it, from the ridiculous to the tragic …”
Tom Mangold, described in The Times as ‘the doyen of broadcast reporters’, began his career as an investigative journalist on Fleet Street before moving into television as a foreign correspondent, and has since made over 100 documentaries, including many for the BBC’s Panorama. But like many others drawn into the Profumo Affair, Mangold has never quite moved on from the 1963 scandal which still leaves more questions than answers.
Keeler, Profumo, Ward & Me is the third documentary on the subject in which Mangold has played a prominent role within the last decade: BBC Radio Four’s Profumo Confidential, which he presented, and ITV’s Sex, Lies and a Very British Scapegoat both aired in 2013, fifty years after the event. And as BBC1’s six-part drama, The Trial of Christine Keeler, sets the rumour mill in motion again, its final episode was followed immediately by Mangold’s latest account on BBC2. Continue reading
Driving out of London, the clubs that stank of beer and sweat. London in July was hot and heavy as a rush-hour ride on the tube. They swept past the airport, on the road to Maidenhead. Christine’s hairdo tangled in the breeze.
“A party in the country is just the ticket, little baby.”
Stephen pulled over at a bus stop where a young girl waited.
“Aren’t you the baker’s daughter? Hop in. We’re off to Cliveden, don’t you know. We’ll sneak you in for a sherry, if you promise to behave yourself.”
This pastel sketch – by Stephen Ward – is of the unidentified girl who attended the infamous 1961 party at Cliveden, where Christine Keeler first met John Profumo. It was found on the reverse of Ward’s portrait of Keeler, which can be seen on the cover of my 2004 novella, Wicked Baby (soon to be reissued via Kindle.)
This discovery was made by the curators at London’s National Portrait Gallery, while preparing their new display, Scandal ’63, which I hope to review. Writing for the Telegraph, Richard Davenport-Hines – author of An English Affair – suggests the model could be none other than ‘Miss X‘, later a witness in Ward’s ill-fated trial.