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Kim Philby - His Most Intimate Betrayal

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Series 1-Episode 1
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Series 1-Episode 1

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Review

Ben Macintyre unpeels the layers of Moscow's ultimate double agent. At one level, Philby’s story is the classic espionage adventure: he was the gentleman spy whose wit charmed everyone at MI6 – and hoodwinked them to an almost farcical extent. Colleagues didn’t just like him, they hero-worshipped him.

Macintyre traces how Philby’s success came from a streak of cruelty, notably in his betrayal of his oldest friend and colleague, Nicholas Elliott, who defended him until it was too late.

What keeps striking you, though it really shouldn’t come as a surprise, is the clubbiness of the British spy world, like a Monty Python spoof of establishment chumminess (“I know his people”). And how the fate of nations (such as Albania) hung on its mistakes. In part two, the tale of Philby’s eventual fall.

Summary

Part one of two. Author Ben Macintyre tries to discover the man behind the myth as he examines the life of Soviet double agent Kim Philby, arguing that the key to his success lay in his friendship with MI6 colleague Nicholas Elliott. Macintyre reveals an extraordinary story of espionage, murder and betrayal and visits locations including London, Istanbul, Washington DC, Beirut and Moscow. Featuring dramatic reconstructions of key events.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Ben Macintyre
David Oakes
William Beck
Executive Producer Dominic Crossley-Holland
Series Producer Francis Whately

Documentary

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