The Profumo Affair was a major political scandal in the early 1960s which had a huge impact on all of those who were involved. The Trial of Christine Keeler examines this through the perspective of the young woman at its heart. Ahead of tonight’s episode, here is everything viewers need to know about the what happened to real woman after the affair ended.
Is Christine Keeler still alive?
The Trial of Christine Keeler returns tonight (Sunday, January 19) with the fifth episode of the historical drama.
The show explores the aftermath of the affair Christine Keeler (played by Sophie Cookson) had in 1961 with the then Minister for War John Profumo (Ben Miles).
So far in the show, viewers have seen the affair hit the papers and Profumo publicly acknowledge it in parliament.
The latest outing explores the trials which arose in the aftermath of the Profumo Affair for Keeler herself and her friend Stephen Ward (James Norton).
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However, some viewers have been wondering what happened to Keeler after the spotlight shifted away from her and whether she is still alive.
Keeler died on December 5, 2017 at the age of 75 at the Princess Royal University Hospital in Bromley.
She died after being ill for a number of months with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, according to her obituary in the Guardian.
Following her trial at the end of the Profumo Affair in 1963, Keeler largely stayed out of the spotlight.
She married twice and went on to have three children but only appeared on screens sparingly.
One of her major appearances was in 1988 when she appeared on the Channel 4 discussion programme After Dark talking about the affair.
Throughout her life she published a number of accounts of her life, including Christine Keeler: The Truth at Last in 2001 and Secrets and Lies in 2012.
This all means Keeler did not live to see the new adaptation made of her life but writer Amanda Coe told Express.co.uk and other media how she was aware of production beginning on it.
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She said: “When it was at the stage when it looked like we were going ahead, we had quite a few interactions with Christine’s legal representative, who was also a close friend of hers.
“She was still alive at that point, and then she died just after the project had been green-lit, but she knew about it – and I think her attitude was one of weary resignation.
“‘Oh not another bloody thing about the Profumo affair!’
“But she was aware that our take on it was different, and the thing that she really communicated was that she didn’t want to be seen as a victim, which we took as our mantra about the way the story was handled.”
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As a result, the show so far has retold the events of the affair with a major focus on Keeler and her close friend Mandy Rice-Davies (Ellie Bamber).
Another major focus of the show has been on Keeler’s friend Ward who introduced her to Profumo.
After he was brought into the spotlight during the affair allegations, he was later the subject of an intense trial after he was accused of living off immoral earnings.
Viewers will see the beginning of the case built against him in tonight’s penultimate episode of the BBC drama.
The Trial of Christine Keeler continues tonight at 9pm on BBC One.
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