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A view to a thrill: James Bond spooks are not spies like us, says MI5 boss

Published 17/09/2015

James Bond's life bears little relation to that of an MI5 agent, a security chief said
James Bond's life bears little relation to that of an MI5 agent, a security chief said

The head of MI5 has revealed that he loves the James Bond films - because they are nothing like reality.

Giving the first ever live broadcast interview by a security service chief, Andrew Parker said the people who worked at his agency were "basically ordinary".

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme he shared the experience of predecessor Baroness Manningham-Buller, who has described her stepchildren's disappointment on discovering she was the person in charge of MI5.

Mr Parker said: "The men and women who work in MI5 are of course basically ordinary people who are part of our society, live in our communities, but are committed to protecting us from those who mean harm.

"So of course people are perhaps more ordinary than is perhaps described in fiction."

Mr Parker said he wanted to do the live interview to "increase public understanding" of MI5 and that the agency welcomed "clear legislation and oversight of what we do".

He was asked if he would be going to see the new Bond film, titled Spectre, when it is released next month.

"I love the James Bond films because they are so distant from reality that we can all enjoy the fiction," Mr Parker replied.

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