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The reality of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy


With John Le Carre’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy back in the news thanks to the Gary Oldman movie, the BBC investigates how much of the novel was based on truth. SPOILER ALERT – this link gives away pretty much the whole plot.

The Circus – le Carre’s headquarters for MI6 based in Cambridge Circus, in central London, is fictional. In reality, MI6 was based at Broadway Buildings in St James’ Park, a rabbit warren of old rooms, before it moved to Century House south of the River Thames, with its grey post-war linoleum floors (an appearance that some who worked there once told me was closer to a building in the Soviet Union).

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Richard Davies

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