The head of MI6 has announced that the service will take its lead from fiction – and hire someone to take on the role of “Q”.
As many who enjoy the James Bond franchise know, Q is the head of Q Branch, the research and development division of MI6.
In films, invariably, Bond went to Q to buy a cool new car or device before heading out to save the world.
Q has been played in the films of Peter Burton, Desmond Llewelyn, John Cleese and currently Ben Whishaw.
But now the real MI6 is looking for someone to really take on the role.
Richard Moore, the chief of intelligence – his real name – gave Times Radio an extensive interview.
In it, he said MI6 needs to “use and use technology” and build partnerships with companies that are active in the field.
He also spoke about the Salisbury poisonings, noting that he is still “angry” at the Novichok attack which nearly caused “very significant casualties”.
Mr Moore raised concerns about the recent build-up of Russian forces near the border with Ukraine, saying it was “deeply worrying”.
He also commented on developments in the Czech Republic, where the heads of state and government claim to be presenting evidence from the intelligence and security services that indicate the participation of two agents from the Russian elite unit GRU 29155 in a depot explosion in 2014, in which two People were killed – something Russia denies.
In his interview with Times Radio, Mr. Moore emphasized that his ministry operates in “an undoubtedly highly competitive and in many ways quite dangerous world”.
He announced that his service would soon be promoting the search for a “new Q” to lead the technical team – a role whose title is inspired by the gadget specialist featured in the James Bond films.
“In this one life, life imitates art,” he said, adding, “We remodeled it a few years ago and couldn’t come up with the right name for it. In the end we thought, ‘Come on, let’s get it started, so we decided to call it Q.
“That’s how we’ve done it since then and this will be the leader of that team.”
Mr. Moore said he hopes to recruit someone with an industry background, adding, “We are in an increasingly competitive, difficult world where technology is making what we do for a living more challenging. So we have to deploy and use technology.
“I think the only way to do this is with good leadership and someone who can help us work effectively with the private sector.”
The interview is the first broadcast interview of a serving C – the name for the secret service director after the first director, Sir Mansfield George Smith-Cumming (not M, as in the films).
MI6 was not officially recognized until 1992 – although it has been in existence for 112 years. It was only recently made public through its website and the only member of the service whose identity is made public is Cs.
Mr. Moore took over the helm of MI6 in October, telling Times Radio, “While the public cannot hear all the details of our agents or our methods or the product we can purchase, I feel it is important that they get some meaning for the service. “