When Dame Judi Dench plays super-cool spy chief "M" in the James Bond movies, she's tough as nails and has a woman's intuition.
When Dame Stella Rimington took over Britain's super-secret MI5 security service, she was the first woman ever to hold the top spy post — and a tough, cool player herself. Dench's model, we're told, for "M."
Now Stella Rimington is out of the spy game, but still very much in the world, writing thrillers that catch the new tang of Russian oligarchs and post-Cold War skulduggery.
This hour, On Point: Spy master turned novelist, Dame Stella Rimington.
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Dame Stella Rimington, former Director General of Britain's MI5 Security Service, from 1992-1996, and author of the new novel "Illegal Action," her third spy thriller featuring MI5 agent Liz Carlyle.
Andrew Cook, expert on the history of espionage and author of "M: MI5's First Spymaster" and other books.
This program aired on July 8, 2008.