Viscount Roy Ascot, MI6 Station Chief, Moscow

Macintyre calls him “possibly the most blue-blooded spy Britain has ever produced. His great-grandfather had been Britain’s prime minister.”

It was lucky this man was MI6 Station Chief in Moscow at the time Oleg Gordievsky was betrayed by Aldrich Ames because, going out to dinner with his wife on July 16, he was the first one to spot Gordievsky “standing in front of the bread shop, holding” a Safeway “carrier bag with a distinctive red pattern,” the pre-arranged signal for Gordiev’s immediate extrication from Russia. The man assigned to monitor the site had missed it. “The time was 7:40. Gordievsky’s instructions were to remain at the site no longer than half an hour.” Ascot: “My heart went straight to my toes.” He poked his wife in the ribs, who “resisted the urge to swivel in her seat and stare: I knew exactly what it meant.”

They couldn’t speak because their car was bugged. Neither could they make a sudden U-turn, because a KGB car was following them.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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