LONDON: The world's most famous fictional spy, James Bond, would never have been hired by Britain's security services in the real world due to his 'morally dubious character', the boss of MI6 has said.
In a rare interview with Black History Month website, Alex Younger said: "We know that if we undermine British values, even in the name of defending them, then we have failed. Our staff are not from another planet. They are ordinary men and women operating in the face of complex moral, ethical and physical challenges, often in the most forbidding environments on earth.
Bond's 'morally dubious character' would rule him out as a real-life MI6 spy despite his tenacity and patriotism, he added.
Younger said: "In contrast to JamesBond, MI6 officers are not for taking moral shortcuts. In fact, a strong ethical core is one of the first qualities we look for in our staff.
"It's safe to say that JamesBondwouldn't get through our recruitment process and, whilst we share his qualities of patriotism, energy and tenacity, an intelligence officer in the real MI6 has a high degree of emotional intelligence, values teamwork and always has respect for the law... Unlike MrBond."
The chief of the UK's Secret Intelligence Service, which is referred to as MI6, also used the interview to appeal to the youth to join the ranks.
"My ultimate goal is for more people to consider a career in MI6 and to get rid of the myth that it's all about having studied at Oxford or Cambridge or having advanced hand-to-hand combat skills. That stereotype really couldn't be further from the truth," he said.
"What is true is that our work at MI6 is exciting, intellectually challenging and it matters. We are Britain's secret frontline, operating upstream in the shadows to keep our friends, families and fellow countrymen and women safe," Younger added.
Bond's character, created by Ian Fleming, has proved the most enduring image of British spies around the world. However, it seems the promiscuous vodka martini enthusiast made famous in a series of film adaptations has very little to do with the real world.