Would you like to be a secret agent and work undercover? Do you think the job in reality would be similar to how it's shown in films?

You might have heard of MI6 through the man known as 007. James Bond doesn’t exist, of course, but what about MI6?

What is MI6?

MI6 is very real. It is an organisation that recruits agents who collect ‘human intelligence’, or information, from countries around the world in order to protect the security of the UK. The official name for MI6 is the Secret Intelligence Service, or SIS.

How old is MI6?

MI6 started life in 1909 so it's over a hundred years old. However, it wasn’t officially recognised by the British government until 1995!

Where is MI6?

The agency started off in a small, rented office but it has its present headquarters in a huge building at Vauxhall Cross on the banks of the River Thames in London. The building is shown in several James Bond films, including The World Is Not Enough and Skyfall

MI6 agents

The first chief of MI6 was Sir Mansfield Cumming. He always signed his name as ‘C’ in green ink. Since then, the chiefs of MI6 have continued the tradition and still sign documents with a green ‘C’.

John le Carré, famous for his spy novels, is a former MI6 agent. He changed his name from David John Moore Cornwell because agents weren’t allowed to publish books under their own names.

Secret missions

During the Second World War (1939–1945), MI6 communicated with agents through coded radio messages broadcast on the BBC. MI6 was also involved in breaking other countries’ codes in order to understand their secret communications. Most of this code breaking work was done at Bletchley Park, in the south of England, by teams of people who were good at maths, languages or solving puzzles. Modern computers didn’t exist at that time and the code breakers had to use huge noisy machines to help them break the codes.

MI6 online

MI6 has an official website where anyone can learn about its history, read a glossary of Secret Intelligence Service words, take a virtual tour or even apply for a job.

Discussion

Would you like to be a secret agent? What do you think are the best parts of the job?

Comments

zuzzzu54's picture
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zuzzzu54 9 July, 2013 - 12:52

Yes, I want to be a secret agent and I think that the best parts of this job is the human live we can save.

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AHMED_K's picture
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AHMED_K 3 July, 2013 - 11:58

Any one says I want to be a secret agent can not be because he faild in the first test of secrecy by this sentence hahaha

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Deona's picture
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Deona 10 June, 2013 - 17:03

My dream it's to be a secret agent. Has a lot of dangerous but everything has risk, if you love something to do, you do it and do not care about the risk. I hope one day being a secret agent. I thing I can do it in a very excellent way ^_^

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Ahtram's picture
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Ahtram 2 June, 2013 - 17:07

Being a secret agent like James Bond, having all this ultra modern things and mystery life full of adventures, still being in dangerous... Mmmm, sounds good :)

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Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
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Jonathan - Coor... 10 May, 2013 - 04:47

Good question! Does anybody know the answer? I'll put it up here in a few days ... if nobody gets there first. :-)
Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
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Jonathan - Coor... 16 May, 2013 - 08:09

The secret services were divided into different departments, one for secret codes, one for maps, one for the media and so on. Each department had a different number too. MI6's purpose was to work with spies around the world, like it says in the article. What did you think about the article?
Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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Ash'Oosha's picture
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Ash'Oosha 16 May, 2013 - 12:26

Thanks for the info. The article is really good... I watched most of James Bond movies and I like that kind of movies (Spies,missions,secret agents), so it's interesting to know more about MI6 .

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irida15's picture
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irida15 26 April, 2013 - 14:22

Being a secret agent was my dream when i was younger and i think it is a dream of all children, because they see action films and think that life is like in the movies. But now I don't really like it so much because I don't want to live a life without my dear people. Secret agents always have to lie and to manipulate others including their families.I don't like to live this kind of life even though it is full of adventures]

.

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upsjackson's picture
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upsjackson 23 April, 2013 - 08:53

I would practically give anything to be a secret agent. I just love a life of adventure and unending thrills !!!

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cillia's picture
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cillia 20 April, 2013 - 19:36

i m fond of this kind of job but you know the films is a thing and the rial and the fact an other thing the best film of our subject is hitman blood monney see it friends you ll never regret

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fatmira n's picture
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fatmira n 1 April, 2013 - 11:54

It is a interesting jog, but i do not like to be a secret agent
I think it is dangerous...

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Alishka's picture
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Alishka 30 March, 2013 - 10:48

It is very difficult to find such a unique person with so many character qualities involved:
intelelligence, capable to do a lot of jobs at the same time, be good at all kinds of sports and disguise, to speak many languages fluently.
What about me?Of couse, I want to be so talanted To be a secret agent, but I wonder if I have all the above? I wish I could. I am afraid that I am not so brave indeed...

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Natalija's picture
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Natalija 28 March, 2013 - 15:17

I think it could be very interesting. You are always in some action, you have bad people to chase, and the best part-passwords. Secret agents have a plenty of passwords for any thing. They have their "language" and it's great. If I'll be a secret agent, I'll be like Coco Chanel. I don't know if you heard, but she was a secret agent, and worked for Germans during the World War II. I've read that in some newspaper and was very surprised. But she did her job with style. I'd be just like her-wearing berettas and big sunglasses, and, of course, Chanel 5;).
It's very dangerous, but at the same time a great way to be active and to develop your mind.

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JCVD's picture
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JCVD 22 March, 2013 - 11:37

I want to be a secret agent! Firstly, because their lives are full of adventures and adrenalin. They also have amazing sport cars and super gadgets. And although it is dangerous, it`s worth it!

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HappyMonster99's picture
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HappyMonster99 15 March, 2013 - 21:29

I'd love to be a secret agent. The secret missions are awesome and you will have great adventures! Also it would be really cool to have super gadgets and to know secret codes and stuff like that. It is a bit dangerous, though.

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marii777's picture
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marii777 13 March, 2013 - 20:55

It is very interesting..your life is full of adventures when you are secret agent, but I do not want , because it is very dangerous..

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Zoje10's picture
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Zoje10 12 March, 2013 - 17:05

I like being a secret agent ...............its mysterios but dangerous .....i love dangerous things

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