Keeler, Profumo, Ward and Me

BBC 2

In 1962, Tom Mangold was newly arrived at the Daily Express – and his first big assignment was the John Profumo/Christine Keeler scandal. It would culminate in the evening of 30 July 1963, when Tom visited Stephen Ward, the man at the centre of the affair. The next day, Ward was scheduled to hear whether he was guilty of living off the immoral earnings of Christine Keeler and her friend Mandy Rice-Davies. Ward handed Mangold a suicide letter, which Tom has retained for more than 55 years. He will reveal its full contents for the first time on television.

Tom Mangold is one of the only surviving reporters who covered the Profumo story at such close quarters. He had under exclusive contract not only Stephen Ward but also a prostitute known as ‘Miss Whiplash’, who was a key witness in the trial. Ronna Ricardo confided to Tom that because she had been threatened by the police, she had lied in court to help convict Ward. She followed Tom’s advice and retook the stand to withdraw her evidence.