Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Too Many 007 Copycats Are Applying to Join MI6; Fantasy: Daniel Craig in Casino Royale. the Bond Movies Give a False Picture, Says MI6

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Too Many 007 Copycats Are Applying to Join MI6; Fantasy: Daniel Craig in Casino Royale. the Bond Movies Give a False Picture, Says MI6

Article excerpt

Byline: NICHOLAS CECIL

JAMES BOND may be the most glamorous spy in the worldbut he is hampering Britain's intelligence service, MI6's recruitment chiefsaid today.

Bond has distorted the reality about the secret organisation and led to "thrillseekers and fantasists" seeking to join MI6.

In an unprecedented interview inside the Vauxhall Cross headquarters of theintelligence service, "Mark"the head of recruitmenttold of the difficulties that the 007 phenomenon creates for MI6.

"I think sometimes we're hindered by itbecause I think it gives people a false impression of what working for theorganisation is actually like," he said.

"It does tend to turn up quite a lot of thrill seekers and fantasists and we'rereally not interested in them." He firmly dismissed the notion that Britishspies have a "licence to kill".

"This is the biggest myth about the servicewe do not have a licence to killwe do not carry Berettasthat's simply not true," he told BBC Radio 1's Newsbeat programme.

While Bond's training, intuition and hi-tech gadgets allow him to survive inthe most dangerous of situations, he has two distinctive features which couldprove life-threatening for real MI6 officers he is white and male.

"We need people to deploy into a range of situations around the world andpeople who have a different ethnicity can often go places and do things andmeet people that those from a white background can't ... there are some placesthat white males can't go," says "Mark". MI6 now recruits on its website ratherthan relying so much on a "tap on the shoulder" of candidates, often atCambridge or Oxford universities, after they have been identified as potentialspies.

As the terror threat from Islamic extremists is expected to last decades,intelligence chiefs are trying to recruit more staff from ethnic minoritybackgrounds. …

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