Secrets of the Spies: Former MI6 officer details how double agents can ‘cripple enemies’

Secrets of the Krays: Britbox tease documentary in trailer

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BritBox’s new, three-part series Secrets of the Spies, will cover everything from Cold War defections and covert assassinations to sophisticated cyber attacks. In an exclusive clip, former M16 officer Harry Ferguson details the importance of cut-throat double agents who can “cripple” their enemies. 

Secrets of the Spies will investigate the history of espionage, both fact and fiction, looking into the likes of the hugely popular 007 star James Bond, Ian Fleming, Kim Philby and Sergei Skripal, to name a few. 

In a clip exclusive to, former M16 officer Harry shared how double agents work to take down enemies of the state.

He explained: “If you can recruit somebody in the enemy organisation, you are effectively crippling your enemy and that’s what really does the damage. 

“That’s a really big win in intelligent circles. 

“The sort of agent that you’re really looking for is not the one who will work for money but the ones who say, ‘I’m doing this because I believe in it.'”

Sir David Omand, who served as the Director of the Government Communications Headquarters from 1996 to 1997, also appears in the three-parter. 

The expert also spoke about the biggest secrets in the service, saying: “Spying is acquiring from adversaries, secrets that are things that they don’t want you to know.

“If you think about the dictators, the terrorists and the criminal groups, they have secrets of what they plan to do to you, the harm they tend to commit.

“So, what you have to do is run a double agent,” he told viewers. 

As well as speaking to former spies, the mini-series will also feature interviews from their family members, police officers and forensic experts, historians, authors and more to offer unique perspectives of this complex and enigmatic topic. 

An in-depth analysis of previous cases which have continued to shock the nation are also discussed including the poisoning of former KGB officer Alexander Litvinenko which happened in London back in 2006. 

The case gives the chilling realisation spying was closer to home than viewers may be led to believe. 

Executive producer George Waldrum explained: “’There is this long-held fascination with the world of espionage but there is still very little we really know about it.

“So often we only hear whispers of what has been going on through stories about foiled plots or information from unknown sources. 

“We wanted to look at what is fact and what is fiction, how spies work and what their aims are,” he told The Daily Mail

The last known sanctioned assassination was when Prime Minister Anthony Eden tasked the secret services with killing Egypt’s leader Gamal Abdel Nasser back in 1956. 

Hoping to uncover the mystery of the complex case, all types of methods were imagined and questioned, for example, an exploding razor, a cigarette box containing a poisonous dart and poisoning from his favourite chocolates. 

Secrets of the Spies is made by ITN Productions, the company which recently made Secrets of the Krays and Feel the Noise: The Music that Shaped Britain for BritBox UK.

All three episodes of Secrets Of The Spies will be available on BritBox from Thursday 10 March.

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