Author(s): Stewart Purvis
Cambridge spy Guy Burgess was a supreme networker, with a contacts book that included everyone from statesmen to socialites, high-ranking government officials to the famous actors and literary figures of the day. He also set a gold standard for conflicts of interest, working variously, and often simultaneously, for the BBC, MI5, MI6, the War Office, the Ministry of Information and the KGB.Despite this, Burgess was never challenged or arrested by Britain's spy-catchers in a decade and a half of espionage; dirty, scruffy, sexually promiscuous, a 'slob', conspicuously drunk and constantly drawing attention to himself, his superiors were convinced he was far too much of a liability to have been recruited by Moscow.Now, with a major new release of hundreds of files into the National Archives, Stewart Purvis and Jeff Hulbert reveal just how this charming establishment insider was able to fool his many friends and acquaintances for so long, ruthlessly exploiting them to penetrate major British institutions without suspicion, all the while working for the KGB.Purvis and Hulbert also detail his final days in Moscow - so often a postscript in his story - as well as the moment the establishment finally turned on him, outmanoeuvring his attempts to return to England after he began to regret his decision to defect.
Stewart Purvis began his career as one of the BBC's first news trainees, going on to become Editor-in-Chief of Channel 4 News and, ultimately, Chief Executive of ITN. In 2003, he became City University London's first Professor of Television Journalism and a Visiting Professor of Broadcast Media at Oxford University. He is a broadcaster on media matters, appearing regularly on BBC Radio 4's Media Show and on Sky News, the BBC News channel and LBC. His career has won him a number of awards, including two BAFTAs. He received a CBE in 2000 for services to broadcasting and in 2009 he was awarded the Royal Television Society Gold Medal for an outstanding contribution to television.;Jeff Hulbert is a media historian who initially specialised in cinema newsreels and television news, but has become increasingly interested in the ways in which the media and political worlds collide. He has managed two publicly funded film and television history projects and is currently an honorary research fellow in the journalism department at City University London.