It’s almost impossible to separate in the popular imagination the real world of espionage with the name ‘James Bond’. Ian Fleming’s hero currently stars in his 23rd film, Skyfall,which goes on general release today; 50 years after Bond first graced our screens in Dr No.
Meanwhile, the list of real-life inspirations for Bond grows longer by the day. The latest agent to be named as the ‘real’ James Bond is Forest Yeo-Thomas, a Second World War secret agent, codenamed ‘White Rabbit’, whose Special Operations Executive file was released to The National Archives in 2003.
But the new Bond film isn’t all that’s being released today. The latest collection of Security Service (MI5) files are made public today and the undoubted highlights are the ten personal diaries of Guy Liddell, Deputy Director General of MI5 during the early Cold War.