Fan Fun London Spy Reports From ‘A Spy Among Friends’ Premiere in London

Red Carpet for the “A Spy Among Friends” World premiere at the BFI London Film Festival
Hi everyone! I’m London Spy, a 28 year old fan of Damian from London, England. I first became a fan of Damian during COVID lockdown here in the UK, of course, we all had a lot of free time and I had the chance to watch many new TV series’. Or at least, new to me!

Meet London Spy (on the right)!

Of course, I can’t say that I’d never heard of the name Damian Lewis, he’s a bit of a national treasure here in the UK. And of course, I had heard of Homeland, I’d just never taken the time to watch it until lockdown.

I was blown away by the show and binge watched through to the end, but my favourite seasons were those that included Brody. What an amazing job Damian did with the character. The next thing I know I’m binge watching this actor in what was his current series at the time, Billions. And lo and behold, I’m now a fan of Damian Lewis 🙂

I was lucky enough to be able to attend the World Premiere screening of A Spy Among Friends at the BFI London Film Festival on the 7th of October. And by lucky, I mean incredibly lucky! Due to heavy traffic on the BFI website I decided to go over to the BFI itself (in the rain!) about 10 or so minutes from my workplace. I managed to get the last 2 tickets before the screening was completely sold out..didn’t I say I was lucky?

Our Master Spy at the “A Spy Among Friends” World premiere at  BFI London Film Festival

The World Premiere was held at the Curzon Mayfair. We were told we were alongside another screening taking place at the same time, so things began fairly quickly. The 2 episodes were introduced by actors Damian Lewis, Anna Maxwell Martin, series creator Alexander Cary and director Nick Murphy.

The show spans across 30 years in the mid 20th century, moving between 3 different interrogations. Damian Lewis’ character, SIS (later MI6) agent Nicholas Elliot, is questioned by MI5 interrogator Mrs Taylor, played brilliantly by Anna Maxwell Martin. Kim Philby, a double agent working for the KGB and SIS, also a friend of Elliot’s, is played by Guy Pearce. Philby is interrogated both by Elliot in Beirut and, in another setting, his Soviet handler played by Karel Roden.

These episodes are a very intense watch, however, the intensity is broken down by a, at times, witty performance from Damian Lewis. A trip to the theatre to see a comedic performance also shows just how much emotion Damian can convey without saying a word in a beautifully acted scene which was one of my personal highlights of the first episode, I’ll say no more regarding this scene!

I’d also like to highlight Guy Pearce’s performance as Kim Philby, from what I know he was not the first choice for this role but, wow, was he an excellent choice. The 2 lead performances will definitely bring in some very high praises.

Those of you who love Homeland won’t be disappointed, after all the show runner is Alexander Cary who worked on many episodes of Homeland. From the jazz score, to the many different cities as a backdrop (from Vienna to London to Beirut), to intense interrogations and, of course, the espionage thriller aspect of the show.

source: London Spy

In the Q&A after episode 2 wrapped up, Damian was asked about the relationship between Elliott and Philby at the core of the show, the word ‘bromance’ was answered! He went on to say that the show is very much about love and betrayal. I’m very interested to see what, if any, cracks form in the relationship of these two friends.

Roll on November when the show airs on ITVX!

source: London Spy

5 thoughts on “Fan Fun London Spy Reports From ‘A Spy Among Friends’ Premiere in London”

  1. Don’t miss Damian Lewis and Guy Pearce in A spy Amongst Friends about Kim Philby and if you haven’t read it yet, Ben Macintyre will be disappointed!

    The secret world of MI6 can be a small one. As all espionage cognoscenti know, Kim Philby was a member of the infamous Cambridge Five along with Anthony Blunt, Donald Maclean, Guy Burgess and John Cairncross. Philby knew John le CarrĂ© (aka David Cornwell) and ended le CarrĂ©’s career in MI6 by treacherously informing on all his East European secret agents. Philby (and maybe other Famous Five members) also knew Colonel Alan Brooke Pemberton CVO MBE in the fifties when Pemberton was ADC to Field Marshall Sir Gerald Walter Robert Templer and fought in the guerrilla war known as the Malayan Emergency. Philby was sniffing around for information to help the communist Malayan insurgents backed inter alia by the USSR but got little useful data from Templer’s camp and the insurgents (the Malayan National Liberation Army) were eventually defeated by the British.

    In the early seventies Alan Pemberton recruited one Bill Fairclough for MI6 (codename JJ). They worked together on and off for the next twenty years or so. Before 2014 Fairclough’s links with various intelligence agencies became public knowledge and to quash any fake narratives Fairclough set about publishing a series of factual autobiographical novels known as The Burlington Files, only one of which (Beyond Enkription) has been published to date.

    Given Alan Pemberton (Fairclough’s original MI6 handler knew Kim Philby) it is unsurprising that John le CarrĂ© turned down Bill Fairclough’s offer in 2014 to collaborate on the action packed factual Burlington Files series. David Cornwell responded along the lines of “Why should I? I’ve got by so far without collaboration so why bother now?” An expected but realistic response from a famous expert in passive fiction who refused to visit in case his photo was snatched while on line!

    Do look up the authors or books mentioned on Amazon, Google The Burlington Files or visit and and read Beyond Enkription.

    1. Ben MacIntyre was on the red carpet with the cast, producers and director, so he should be happy with the final product 🙂 I read the book twice and just finished the audio book. If you’ve seen thee first two episodes at the World Premiere (or somewhere else if you’re in the industry) you know that (and our London Spy reported it, too) one main character is Mrs Taylor played by Anna Maxwell Martin – who I believe interrogates Elliott after Philby flees Beirut (there are different theories about that like if Elliott let him go since there will be so much embarrassment for MI6 if they got him on a trial) but I don’t remember that character from MacIntyre’s book. The book ends with Beirut and Philby fleeing then we jump years and the last chapter looks at the three old spies years later – Elliott, Philby, and Angleton.

  2. Cant wait! Been the best fan since 2001 Band of Brothers and never looked exciting❤️

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