Stonehouse FIRST LOOK: Matthew Macfadyen appears with real-life wife Keeley Hawes in ITV drama as he plays disgraced politician who faked his death and ran off with his secretary

  • The John Stonehouse affair is being recreated by ITV with Matthew Macfadyen, 48, playing the disgraced Labour politician in a three-part drama – with his real-life wife Keeley Hawes, 46, as the MP’s spurned spouse
  • Stonehouse, which will air early next year, tells how the former cabinet minister in the Wilson government faked his death in 1974 and ran off with his secretary Sheila Buckley
  • The MP, who was alleged to have been a spy for the Czechs, left his clothes on a beach in Miami and swam into the sea
  • He was presumed drowned but a month later, as his wife Barbara and three young children mourned, he was arrested in Australia where he was living under a false name with his mistress. He was jailed for seven years
  • He married Miss Buckley, played by Emer Heatley, and died in 1988 

It was one of the most notorious political scandals of the Seventies. 

Now the John Stonehouse affair is being recreated by ITV with Matthew Macfadyen, 48, playing the disgraced Labour politician in a three-part drama – with his real-life wife Keeley Hawes, 46, as the MP’s spurned spouse. 

Stonehouse, which will air early next year, tells how the former cabinet minister in the Wilson government faked his death in 1974 and ran off with his secretary Sheila Buckley. 

On-screen: The John Stonehouse affair is being recreated by ITV with Matthew Macfadyen, 48 (centre), playing the disgraced Labour politician in a three-part drama (Matthew’s real-life wife Keeley Hawes plays the MP’s wife Barbara (right) while Emer Heatley plays his secretary Sheila (left))

The MP, who was alleged to have been a spy for the Czechs, left his clothes on a beach in Miami and swam into the sea. 

He was presumed drowned but a month later, as his wife Barbara and three young children mourned, he was arrested in Australia where he was living under a false name with his mistress. He was jailed for seven years. 

He married Miss Buckley, played by Emer Heatley, and died in 1988.

Telling the tale: Stonehouse tells how the former cabinet minister in the Wilson government faked his death in 1974 and ran off with his secretary Sheila Buckley (John Stonehouse pictured in 1981)

Actor Matthew and his wife Keeley have been married for 18 years and Keeley said they had to cast aside the familiarities of their real-life happy marriage to play the parts.

The actress insists their union is the complete opposite to that of politician John and Barbara.

She told the Mirror: ‘We have worked together before, but not for several years. And so when this came up, it seemed like the perfect project on so many levels really, mostly because the Stonehouses are so different to Matthew and I and to our relationship.

‘So it’s nice to see us, I think, and interesting for people who may know that we are married to see us as the “other” couple.’

She told Matthew: ‘It was really wonderful. It was very jolly, wasn’t it?’

He responded: ‘Yeah, it was very difficult working with Keeley.

‘She’s… it was hard. It was hard. No, that’s a silly answer. It was joyful working with Keeley. It was nice, wasn’t it?’

Matthew and Keeley met on the set of drama Spooks in 2001 and later starred in 2007 comedy Death at a Funeral together.

They share children Maggie, 17, and Ralph, 16, together. 

Love: Matthew and Keeley met on the set of drama Spooks in 2001 and they went on to marry in 2004 (pictured in October 2021)

Source: Read Full Article