NEXT Saturday is the 13th anniversary of the politician at the centre of one of 20th century Britain’s biggest scandals.

John Profumo was Secretary of State for War until his resignation from the Cabinet in June of 1963, having lied to the Commons over his affair with model Christine Keeler.

Keeler, who died in 2017, had also had an affair with Yevgeny Ivanov, a Soviet naval attache and spy.

In reporting the story of his death in 2006, the Adver had a unique angle in the form of Nigel Sharpe, an Eldene man who had been a family friend.

“At the time he was going to resign,” Mr Sharp recalled: “we were probably the second or third people he told.

“I really believe he was a certainty to become Prime Minister.”

Mr Sharp, who died in 2007 at 67, was a veteran youth worker, inaugural vice-chairman of Swindon Youth Partnership and founder of Dorcan Performing Arts Group, an organisation he would chair until he stepped down in 2005.

He was also at various times a local radio presenter and Adver columnist, specialising in Christian themes.

John Profumo was MP for Stratford when the scandal erupted in 1963, and Mr Sharp was chairman of Stratford Young Conservatives.

The young Mr Sharp was impressed by Profumo - and by Profumo’s wife, former Hollywood star Valerie Hobson, whose credits included horror classic Bride of Frankenstein.

“He and his wife would come for supper or Sunday dinner,” said Mr Sharp.

“Quite often I would sleep at his house as I was always there stuffing envelopes.

“I also got to know Valerie well. I was fascinated that an MP would marry a Hollywood actress who gave her life up to supporting him. She was absolutely gorgeous. We all used to fancy her.

“They were very much in love. It’s a mystery how he ended up in bed with Christine Keeler.

“I am sad he has died but I have always been sad about what happened to him.

“Here was a guy who had everything in front of him but he lost it all of a sudden. But he didn’t mope or groan.

“He wanted to modernise the Conservative Party. Her felt it was a sleeping giant that represented the upper classes too much and not the working class.

“He was a super guy. He was slick, very smartly dressed and a great politician. We kept in touch and I last saw him three years ago.

“He told me he had had a wonderful life and seen life as it really is.”