Belfast Telegraph

James Norton: Profumo affair character was an enigma

Sophie Cookson and Ellie Bamber are also part of the cast.

James Norton (Ian West/PA)
James Norton (Ian West/PA)

By Julia Hunt, PA Entertainment Correspondent

James Norton has said he fell in love with his character in The Trial Of Christine Keeler, the BBC’s new series about the Profumo affair.

Keeler’s affair with Tory cabinet minister John Profumo and a Russian diplomat at the same time at the height of the Cold War dominated headlines in the 1960s and nearly destroyed Harold Macmillan’s government.

Norton, 34, plays Stephen Ward, who introduced Keeler and Profumo.

The osteopath was tried for living off “immoral earnings” after claims that he introduced women, including Keeler, to rich clients.

The actor said Ward was “an enigma”.

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Christine Keeler (PA)

“I fell in love with him as you often do with the roles you play,” he said.

“Stephen is particularly likeable and everyone who met him and writes about him says that … he was charismatic, peculiar and ultimately drew people in.”

The actor said one of the challenges when making the series was making sure “to not give (Ward) too easy a way out”.

“He had a lot to answer for,” he said.

The Trial Of Christine Keeler – which also stars Sophie Cookson, Ellie Bamber, Ben Miles, Emilia Fox and Nathan Stewart-Jarrett – starts on BBC One on Sunday December 29.

PA

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