Skyfall, the latest 007 film, is attracting adrenaline-hungry Bond fans to join the spy agency – but they’re not the sort of recruits it’s after, apparently
Age: Officially, 18. Unofficially, 103.
Appearance: A lot sexier than it actually is.
Why is that? Mostly because of a certain Mr 007.
What’s he done? His usual thing: killed people, shagged women, fired off a handful of clunky quips and protected the military interests of a declining colonial power. In a film.
That film being Skyfall? That’s the one. You may have seen the ads for it on all flat surfaces in Britain for the past six months.
Is it proving popular? You might say. Cinema-goers have already shelled out £20.1m in the UK and $77.7m internationally to see it on its opening weekend, making it No 1 at the box office in 25 countries.
Meaning? Meaning it will end up being seen by around 99% of all people who have ever lived or will live. Which is bad news for MI6 recruitment.
Because? Because it’s given everyone the impression that the spying game is all about – minor spoiler alert – sneaking up on women while they’re showering, the erotic use of shaving cream, and being tied up and gently fondled by a coquettish Javier Bardem.
Isn’t it? Not according to MI6 themselves, no. They took out full-page adverts in the Times and Sunday Times, countering the notion of the glamorous “globe-trotting secret agent” and emphasising that the qualities they are looking for “are far more ordinary than you would imagine”.
Like being able to fart a tune? No. You’re confusing ordinary with inane.
So they are hoping an advert in a newspaper will totally undo all the sexiness of the film? Well, not totally, but enough to attract at least a few recruits who aren’t expecting their own invisible car.
Not exactly masterful propaganda, is it? Perhaps not. But it’s a big step forward for MI6. They didn’t even have a website until 2005.
So how did they hire people before that? They just winked at white Oxbridge public schoolboys.
Really? Nah. It was probably much more ordinary than you could imagine.
Do say: “The name’s Bland. James Bland.”
Don’t say: “Yes, we do expect you to talk. It’s a very friendly office.”
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