Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Specials

Specials

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Specials

First Air Date: September 12, 2000

First Aired on    :   2000
Episodes    :   2 episodes



Episodes

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0x02 Interview with John Le Carre (January 01, 0001)



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0x01 John Le Carre: The Secret Centre (September 12, 2000)


JOHN LE Carre, the award-winning novelist, has disclosed for the first time details of his career as a spy in the intelligence and security services. In his first television interview for 15 years, Mr Le Carre admits he started working for the secret service when he was 16 and went on to become a senior undercover operative in West Germany at the height of the Cold War. It is the first time the author, whose books include Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, has explicitly confessed to having been a spy. The interview features in John Le Carre: The Secret Centre, a documentary about the author's life to be broadcast on Boxing Day 2000 on BBC2. In the programme Le Carre describes how he first became involved with foreign intelligence after running away to Switzerland to escape the influence of his father, a confidence trickster. While living in Berne he met an MI6 official from the British consul and began running errands for him. Le Carre, whose real name is David Cornwell, returned to England after a year but maintained contact with the secret services while studying at Oxford University and later, as a teacher at Eton, before joining MI5 full-time. He was transferred to MI6 and dispatched to West Germany, where, according to his first wife, Anne Martin, he spent several years "deep undercover". Le Carre says his career in espionage came to an abrupt end in 1963 following the publication of his first spy novel, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. Le Carre has always been guarded about his spying career, although it was understood to have informed much of his writing. Nigel Williams, the documentary's maker, said he thought Le Carre had decided it was time to come clean about his past: "He is a highly patriotic Englishman and he hadn't talked about it before because he thought it wasn't right to do so. But he is almost 70 now and I think he felt he should set the record straight." Related Articles Le Carré donates cliffs to nation The interview features in John Le Carre: The Secret Centre, a documentary about the author's life to be broadcast on Boxing Day on BBC2. In the programme Le Carre, now 69, describes how he first became involved with foreign intelligence after running away to Switzerland to escape the influence of his father, a confidence trickster. While living in Berne he met an MI6 official from the British consul and began running errands for him. Le Carre, whose real name is David Cornwell, returned to England after a year but maintained contact with the secret services while studying at Oxford University and later, as a teacher at Eton, before joining MI5 full-time. He was transferred to MI6 and dispatched to West Germany, where, according to his first wife, Anne Martin, he spent several years "deep undercover". Le Carre says his career in espionage came to an abrupt end in 1963 following the publication of his first spy novel, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. Le Carre has always been guarded about his spying career, although it was understood to have informed much of his writing. Nigel Williams, the documentary's maker, said he thought Le Carre had decided it was time to come clean about his past: "He is a highly patriotic Englishman and he hadn't talked about it before because he thought it wasn't right to do so. But he is almost 70 now and I think he felt he should set the record straight."




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