MI6 hiring 1,000 new staff but the greatest spy character in fiction, James Bond, would never get a job in the real-life MI6

The greatest spy character in fiction, James Bond, would never get a job in the real-life MI6, the head of the ultra-secretive agency said.

Alex Younger is real life´s M
Photo: (AOP)

Alex Younger, the chief of the Secret Intelligence Service, admitted 007’s life of hand-to-hand combat and serial romances with the world’s most beautiful women was perhaps not quite as realistic as some may hope to believe.

Ian Fleming’s rash and rebellious character would be rejected by today’s intelligence service, said Mr Younger.

Roger Moore as James Bond and Gloria Hendry as Rosie Carver
in “Live and Let Die” (1973)
Photo: Publicity Picture
‘In contrast to James Bond, MI6 officers are not for taking moral shortcuts,’ the head of MI6 said.
‘In fact, a strong ethical core is one of the first qualities we look for in our staff.
‘It’s safe to say that James Bond wouldn’t get through our recruitment process and, whilst we share his qualities of patriotism, energy and tenacity, an intelligence officer in the real MI6 has a high degree of emotional intelligence, values teamwork and always has respect for the law – unlike Mr Bond.’

Daniel Craig as James Bond in “Skyfall” (2012)
Photo © EON, United Artists, Danjaq LLC
Speaking in a rare question and answer session Mr Younger, traditionally known as ‘C’ within MI6 circles, added: ‘We know that if we undermine British values, even in the name of defending them, then we have failed.

Sean Connery as James Bond and Kim Basinger as Domino Petachi in
Never Say Never Again” (1983)
Photo © EON, United Artists, Danjaq LLC

Pierce Brosnan as James Bond
Photo:  © Getty Images

‘Our staff are not from another planet. ‘They are ordinary men and women operating in the face of complex moral, ethical and physical challenges, often in the most forbidding environments on earth.’

Although the Secret Intelligence Service is necessarily mysterious the stereotypical qualities many assume will be necessary for a career in spying ‘couldn’t be further from the truth’, Mr Younger said.
He told the Black History Month website: ‘My ultimate goal is for more people to consider a career in MI6 and to get rid of the myth that it’s all about having studied at Oxford or Cambridge or having advanced hand-to-hand combat skills,’ he added.
‘That stereotype really couldn’t be further from the truth.
‘What is true is that our work at MI6 is exciting, intellectually challenging and it matters. We are Britain’s secret frontline, operating upstream in the shadows to keep our friends, families and fellow countrymen and women safe.’

Ralph Fiennes (Skyfall, 2012, SPECTRE, 2015) is M,
who is the Head of the Secret Intelligence Service.
Photo © EON, United Artists, Danjaq LLC

The Secret Service boss is now on a drive to try and get more people to sign up and Mr Younger urged the ‘best of Britain’ to apply for a job. 

Apply for a job here

MI6 Headquarters
Photo: © 007 Travelers

Sources: Daily Mail & Black History Month website 

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