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Season 2008 Episode 0709

Stella Rimington: The Real 'M' of James Bond Fame

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Episode Summary

Stella Rimington: The Real 'M' of James Bond Fame
Dame Stella Rimington, was the head of the famous British Secret Service MI5. In her first months as Director-General, Dame Stella was subject to a determined campaign by the British press to identify her. As the first female head of the secret service, she was also the first to be officially named and photographed during her tenure in charge of Britain's spy service.In December 1991, she made a visit to Moscow to make the first friendly contact between the British intelligence services and their old enemies, now allies, the KGB. On her return from Russia, she was informed that she was promoted to Director-General.Dame Stella said, "I was fortunate to be in a central position during a time of great change in the security scene and I believe I have a contribution to make to our understanding of the period."The two most recent James Bond films have seen the fictitious supercool spy's boss portrayed by a female "M" (which is a depiction of Dame Stella), with Dame Judi Dench filling that role.Dame Stella said she found her portrayal as "startling", and added that it was "really very good. Both my daughters said so. One even noted that she holds her hands the way I do" - Oxonian Societymoreless

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