MI5's answer to 'M' to disclose her spy secrets in Newcastle

Dame Stella was appointed Director General of MI5 in 1992 – the first woman to take the post - providing inspiration for James Bond's female 'M' played by Judi Dench. Credit: Zach Chudley/PA

The name is Rimington, Dame Stella Rimington.

Whilst it might not be as catchy as 'Bond, James Bond', it is probably closer to the truth with the first woman appointed as Director General of the UK spy agency MI5 heading for Newcastle to share her spying experiences at a public event.

The appointment of Dame Stella as the head of MI5 in 1992 - the first woman to take the post and be publicly named - is credited as being the inspiration behind Judi Dench’s 'M' character in the James Bond 007 films.

“I’m very much looking forward to my first visit to Newcastle and to speaking at Life Science Centre. It will be a pleasure to address a live audience again,” she said.

Dame Stella will be speaking at Newcastle's Life Science Centre on Tuesday 1 February. Credit: Zach Chudley

As well as talking about how she became a role model for the 007 character ‘M’, she will be signing copies of her autobiography.

Linda Conlon, chief executive of Life said: “The planning of this event has had more twists and turns than an Ian Fleming novel.

“It was originally planned for March 2020 as part of Life’s spy season to coincide with the release of the James Bond 007 film, No Time to Die.

She added: “Like so many events, it was rescheduled due to the pandemic. We are very much looking forward to finally welcoming Dame Stella.

“If our previous events are anything to go by, the Life audience will have some challenging and intriguing questions for our guest.” 

The special event will take place at the Life Science Centre, Newcastle, next Tuesday evening, 1 February.