'James Bond types' need not apply

Actor Daniel Craig as James Bond in the movie Spectre. MI6 said the Bond brand has attracted a lot of good people but also put off equally fantastic people.
Actor Daniel Craig as James Bond in the movie Spectre. MI6 said the Bond brand has attracted a lot of good people but also put off equally fantastic people.PHOTO: SONY PICTURES

MI6 is not happy with James Bond.

The agency's female head of recruitment told the Guardian daily it has had to battle with the enduring image that its officers were all like its greatest fictional agent, currently portrayed by actor Daniel Craig.

The agency still received applications from people who thought being a good shot was an advantage, said the official who, like all MI6 agents apart from chief Alex Younger, is anonymous.

"There is a perception out there that we want Daniel Craig, or Daniel Craig on steroids. He would not get into MI6," she said, according to the Guardian.

"They may well be able to use a revolver, but that is not really what we are looking for. We don't want to be the SAS," said the recruitment chief, referring to the Special Air Service, the elite special forces unit of the British military.

The agent added: "The (James Bond) brand has attracted a lot of good people. But it has also put off equally fantastic people.

BREAKING THE BOND IMAGE

There is a perception out there that we want Daniel Craig, or Daniel Craig on steroids. He would not get into MI6.

MI6'S HEAD OF RECRUITMENT, on the agency having to battle with the image that all its officers are like the fictional agent.

"We are between a rock and a hard place - between trying to be innovative, while protecting the secret stuff that keeps this country safe.

"We get thousands of people applying. But we need people from a wider range of backgrounds in order to be able to select the best talent this country has to offer."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 04, 2017, with the headline ''James Bond types' need not apply'. Print Edition | Subscribe