This file is top secret.....
I have been tasked to go undercover on behalf of Her Majesty’s Secret Service, well, The Daily Express, almost the same thing....
Dressed to blend in, and armed with my licence to attend bone fide press events (my press card), I headed to London’s Victoria Station to take up my role as Rao, Nathan Rao, 003.
Meandering through one of London’s busiest train stations at midday decked out as the world’s most famous international spy attracted some looks, but I rebuffed the stares and maintained my hidden identity.
This was one mission I could not fail, I was mentally and physically primed for the task that lay ahead.
On arrival I made a top-secret call to photographer Tim Clarke (thanks for use of the pics Tim), before seeking out Heineken’s James Bond stand.
The beer-maker, official partners to the James Bond franchise, were testing the skills of would-be double agents to celebrate UK release of Skyfall next week.
Daniel Craig’s latest outing as Ian Fleming’s charming, dashing, and dastardly secret agent is the 23rd film in the franchise.
Casting my mind to those vital attributes, I had no doubt I fitted the bill and was fully prepared to pit my wits against the series of challenges they had planned.
“Your name?” I was asked, as I entered the compound.
“Johnny Swift,” my alter secret-agent ego, inspired by the burly bouncer at the door who said I was more Johnny English than James Bond.
“Sign here please.” I cast my eye over the document before scrawling my name, an agreement to be interrogated by Devoushka Aksinya Dunyasha.
I was taken through a secret door hidden in a bookcase.
“Sit”, the fearsome Russian pointed to a chair and instructed me to hold the electrodes, this was a lie detector, and she was to get my true identity out of me.
Not a chance.
“What are you doing in Russia? Mr...Sweeeft?” she met me dead in the eye, her face an unbreakable iron mask.
“Just visiting,” I replied.
“Dressed as a Russian soldier? Your explanation does not stack up....Mr Sweeeft....”
I didn’t cave in. She showed me a picture of a dog, snarling and foaming at the mouth.
“Have you seen this dog?” She asked, “It is mine, it has been stolen.”
“They say animals look like their owners,” I replied, laughing. Her deathly gaze remained unchanged.
“You see yourself as a bit of a comedian.....? Mr Sweeeft......”
“A bad one, I admit,” I replied.
She pointed to a board on the wall.
I was to press a series of buttons as they lit up, as quickly as I could.
I was then instructed to take a bottle of Heineken from behind a series of flashing infrared beams, the idea was not to set off the alarm – I did.
“You could have done that if you were more careful Nathan,” said Tim.
“SHHHHHHH, it’s Johnny, blimey, talk about going undercover with a liability in tow.”
“You have passed the test,” said the little French man at the exit door, you are now a secret agent.
So a new career beckons. I am to take on the likes of Blofeld and Jaws, get to drink vodka Martini and Bollinger, scale walls and escape near-death situations with grace and ease.
I think I could take on this Craig bloke to be the next Bond, and I have proved I have all the needed skills of espionage.
So watch this space, today, newspaper reporter and weatherman, tomorrow.......