1. How do you name your perfect spy?
A: You don’t.
B: After an American ornithologist.
C: You code-name him after a bird.
2. What is your spy’s background?
A: He was the son of a railway worker from Burnley.
B: He was a Royal Naval Reserve Commander.
C: He was and is an assassin.
3. Who does your spy work for?
A: WOOC(P) – a never explained acronym for a civilian intelligence service that reports directly to the British cabinet.
B: The British Secret Service.
C: OAS (Organisation Armeé Secrète), A French Terrorist Group.
4. What is your spy’s mission?
A: To deliver a report on brainwashing to the Minister of Defence.
B: To defeat an arms dealer in a high stakes poker game.
C: To kill Charles de Gaulle.
5. What trademark peccadillo do you give him?
A: He is a gourmet cook.
B: He has a penchant for dry martini.
C: None. He is utterly superficial.
Select below to reveal your perfect spy...
Your spy closely resembles the protagonist of The Ipcress File, Len Deighton’s nameless working class hero who becomes Harry Palmer in Michael Caine’s film portrayal. A rough diamond with a liking for fine food, he discovers the secret of the Induction of psycho-neuroses by conditioned reflex under stress and does quite a bit of home cooking. (By the way – Len Deighton used to write cookstrips for the Observer newspaper so the nosh in his books is very well researched).
Your spy is just like James Bond in the first of Ian Flemming’s Bond novels, Casino Royale (1953). The debonair hero’s looks were modelled on the American singer, Hoagy Carmichael. His tipple of choice, ‘The Vesper’, contains gin and vodka as well as martini and would blow most people’s heads off. Researchers reckon he drinks about 92 units a week; he is also a heavy smoker. In real life these habits would make him rather less successful a lover than his fictional and film portrayal suggest…
Your spy is just like ‘The Jackal’ in Frederick Forsyth’s Day of the Jackal, a man who can find his way around a passport office and adopt the most elaborate of disguises. Played by Edward Fox in the 1973 film, his curiously passionless character is chillingly rendered in his obsessive attention to detail. Unlike the other two spies, the Jackal is more interested in using food as target practice than eating it. On his unmarked Paris grave, is written: ‘an unknown foreign tourist, killed in a car accident’.