BBC drama tries to reinterpret 1960s scandal about Christine Keeler through ‘female gaze’ of today

Born in Middlesex, Christine Keeler moved to London as a teenager and began working at Murray’s Cabaret Club in Soho. 

It was there she met Dr Stephen Ward, a high-flying London osteopath and fixer who ‘procured women’ for leading members of the Establishment, who introduced her to Conservative Minister John Profumo while at a party thrown by Lord and Lady Astor in 1961.

The pair hit the headlines after seven shots were fired at Ward’s house in a quiet Marylebone mews by a jilted boyfriend of Keeler a year later in December 1962.

Ms Keeler’s other lovers have included A-Team actor George Peppard, legendary womaniser Warren Beatty and Prisoner of Zenda star Douglas Fairbanks Jr

Ms Keeler, pictured, met Conservative minister Profumo - 27 years her senior - after leaving her home in Middlesex and working at Murray's Cabaret Club in Soho

Ms Keeler, pictured, met Conservative minister Profumo – 27 years her senior – after leaving her home in Middlesex and working at Murray’s Cabaret Club in Soho

Ms Keeler, pictured right, in a vehicle with her friend Mandy Rice-Davies, who was also implicated in the scandal surrounding the affair

Ms Keeler, pictured right, in a vehicle with her friend Mandy Rice-Davies, who was also implicated in the scandal surrounding the affair

It emerged the then 19-year-old Keeler had been sleeping with former Secretary of State for War John Profumo, then 48, and at the same time a handsome Russian spy Evgeny Ivanov.

But when the news broke, Profumo lied to the House of Commons about his affair. He was soon found out and Keeler sold her story to the News of The World for £23,000.

In June 1963, he quit in disgrace, amid allegations Keeler had been asked by Ivanov to discover from the War Minister when the West Germans might receive U.S. nuclear missiles to be stationed on their soil.

Profumo had been a rising star of the Tory Party, close to Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, a favoured visitor at Buckingham Palace, a war hero and the dashing husband of actress Valerie Hobson, one of the great beauties of her day.

Ms Keeler, whose other lovers have included A-Team actor George Peppard, legendary womaniser Warren Beatty and Prisoner of Zenda star Douglas Fairbanks Jr, said in an interview years later that the Establishment was far more interested in painting it as a sex scandal and chose to ignore whispered claims of a widespread spying network. 

Christine died aged 75 in December 2017.