FEMALE HEAD OF MI5 ONCE MISTAKEN FOR A HOOKER IN A PUB!

Sherlock Holmes Museum, Baker Street, London D...

Sherlock Holmes Museum, Baker Street, London Dog head illustrating “The Hound of the Baskervilles” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While guest editing BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, ex MI5 Director General Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller revealed how she was once mistaken for a hooker while training as a spy, and almost thrown out of a pub! Dame Eliza had been tasked to find out key personal details from a stranger in a pub during an exercise. ‘The task was to pick someone up in a pub and learn enough about them that you had their date of birth and what they did and what their full name was.’

I can attest to the fact that the above story is true, for I was the stranger, and the pub was the Sherlock Holmes pub in Baker Street! I was a child at the time, in school uniform, and in the company of Alfred, my pet boxer dog. I was pretending to be blind so I could raise enough money for holiday camp. It has to be said, Alfred did a pretty piss poor job pretending to be a guide dog. Perhaps he didn’t want me to go to summer camp? Anyway, as soon as he heard a crisp/chip packet being opened, he was off, and I was off with him, since I had hold of the other end of the lead! Anyway, this not unattractive  young lady approached me and boasted that one day she would be head of MI5. Initially I was not impressed, for I thought she had said MFI, the large DIY retail chain. Dame Eliza…known to me as ‘Beryl’…managed to finagle out of me my name, my address and the name of my cub scout group. Then she said, ‘Now boy, give me your car keys and house keys…I need a safe house!’ First of all, I was too young to drive…anyway, I was supposed to be blind…and I didn’t have my own set of house keys, on account I kept losing them! Suddenly Alfred slobified all over her and Beryl ran off to the ladies to clean up. That’s when I made a clean getaway! I would never have guessed Beryl would be the first women to head up MI5. I can only surmise she was brilliant at paperwork, because she made a lousy spy! Oh, Beryl had lovely legs!

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