A lecturer at one of the country's leading universities has been recruited to advise the secret service, The THES can reveal.
The Imperial College physicist is passing detailed weapons information to the makers of the next James Bond film, The World Is Not Enough, which stars Pierce Brosnan and is due for release in November.
The academic, who prefers not to be named, thinks that his name probably came up during routine discussions. A middle-man who divides his time between academic life and media work was also involved in vetting the appointment. Following approval, the physicist was collected by a car with tinted windows and driven to Pinewood Studios. However, the film-makers have taken no further steps to protect his identity.
The Pounds 900-a-day fee should comfortably keep the physicist in Martinis, but he points to the greater good of his work in serving his country and ridding the planet of evil men with white cats. "Clearly it is important to show the world that we have the best secret agents," he said. "If I can help, I am happy to do so."
Emerging from the sea, immaculately dressed beneath a dry suit, he added that for such tongue-in-cheek films, the makers are keen to get the technical aspects right. "They take the detail seriously," he said.
"I am hoping to be asked to brief the film's heroine on some of the technical details," he added. "This is likely to take a week in solitude in Polynesia."