He’s the most famous spy in the world, but the head of MI6 has revealed that James Bond would never get a job at the intelligence agency in real life.
007 is one of the great British films icon of the last 50 years, but the chief of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service has stated he’d get turned down for an agent role if he actually existed.
Speaking at a conference this week, MI6 boss Alex Younger said the spy would have to “change his ways” if he were to join the organisation for real [via The Guardian].
Discussing Bond’s legacy, Younger said: “I’m conflicted about Bond. He has created a powerful brand for MI6: as C, the real-life version of M, there are few people who will not come to lunch if I invite them. Many of our counterparts envy the sheer global recognition of our acronym.”
He added: “And to be fair, there are a few aspects of the genre that do resonate in real life: fierce dedication to the defence of Britain, for example. The real life ‘Q’ would want me to say that we too enjoy – and, indeed, need – a deep grasp of gadgetry. But’s that’s pretty much where the similarity ends. And, were Bond to apply to join MI6 now, he would have to change his ways.”
However, despite the positive impacts of the Bond movies, the spy has tainted the intelligence service too.
He added: “For too long – often because of the fictional stereotypes I have mentioned – people have felt that there is a single quality that defines an MI6 officer, be it an Oxbridge education or a proficiency in hand-to-hand combat. This is, of course, patently untrue. There is no standard MI6 officer.”
So, it turns out a violent, borderline alcoholic with a reputation for womanising would struggle to hold down a job at MI6 – the news has left us shaken, but not stirred.