Licence to Kill, fast cars, gadgets and encounters with beautiful woman are all marks of the James Bond mythos. And while the real MI6 is a far cry from some aspects of Ian Fleming’s spy, the British secret service still maximises his appeal, according to an expert. Speaking at the Hay Festival, Dr Rory Cormac, associate professor of international relations with a speciality in secret intelligence at Nottingham University, revealed that 007 is still important for MI6 recruitment.
According to The Guardian, Cormac said: “They like the image it creates, as Bond is linked to British omnipotence and omniscience.
“It is a great recruitment sergeant as well – although a lot of people who want to become James Bond get weeded out very early, as they are psychopaths.”
Meanwhile, contacts overseas will greet real-life MI6 agents as though they really were 007.
He added: “When MI6 agents are trying to make contact with people in far-flung countries as part of operations, they have been known to be greeted, ‘Hello, Mr Bond!’ It helps to break the ice.”
REAL-LIFE Q IS A WOMAN, CONFIRMS MI6 CHIEF
These recent positive comments are quite the change of attitude towards 007, from what real-life M Alex Younger (known as C for Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service) has shared in the past.
Back in 2016, he revealed that Bond would fail the MI6 recruitment process.
He said: “[Bond’s] stereotype really couldn’t be further from the truth.
“In contrast to James Bond, MI6 officers are not for taking moral shortcuts.”
C added: “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.
“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!”
Bond 25 hits UK cinemas on April 3, 2020.
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