He Gave Me The Slip
by William Keegan | The Guardian | December 31, 2022
The English of a certain generation seem to be divided between those who are fascinated by the Cambridge spies and those who are not. For the former, the fascination and in my case memories have been rekindled by the recent release of the television series A Spy Among Friends, starring Guy Pearce as the treacherous Kim Philby and Damian Lewis as Nicholas Elliott, his close friend for many years at the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), also known as MI6.
The bond between Philby and Elliott was tested when the latter discovered that he had unwittingly been one of Philby’s prime sources for top-secret intelligence as part of the notorious Cambridge spy ring who passed information to the Soviet Union during the second world war and, later, the cold war. This was all the more galling for Elliott, who had helped to clear Philby’s name when he had come under suspicion some years before his ultimate confession in Beirut in 1963.