Richard Moore said the Bond films were “wonderful” but stressed “it is not reality”. In a rare interview, Mr Moore admitted he “did some skulking” in his career but insisted it was a long way from the popular image of spy tradecraft. While 007’s boss goes by the name M, Mr Moore is known by the traditional codename C.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that many mistakenly think C stands for chief, but “it stands for Cumming, as in Mansfield Cumming (the first head of MI6) – he was a naval man and he wrote in green ink”.
It is a tradition Mr Moore follows. He said there are no gadgets on his car, adding: “And I can assure you it is not, sadly, an Aston Martin.” He said the service’s link to Ian Fleming’s Bond character had to be celebrated, not viewed as a burden.
He said: “It is fiction, it is not reality but the Bond franchise is a wonderful one. I had such fun watching the most-recent film – it is brilliant, it doffs a cap to all the great James Bond traditions.”