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Cambridge Spies | How Philby, Burgess, Maclean, Blunt and Cairncross were unmasked

About this collection

For the aesthetes who graced the Apostles society at Cambridge University in the 1930s, conversion to the communist cause seemed an appropriate reaction to the menace of European fascism. For a few of these young intellectuals, the invitation to spy for the Kremlin was the ultimate proof of loyalty to that cause.

These programmes examine the gradual exposure of the Cambridge Spies and reveal how the names Burgess, Philby, Maclean, Blunt and 'fifth man' Cairncross became synonymous with treachery at the heart of the British establishment.

Read about Guy Burgess at the BBC.

Cambridge Spies Collection

Stuart Hibberd at a BBC microphone.

News

Burgess and Maclean

BROADCAST 1951
3 MINUTES

Two of our diplomats are missing!

Richard Hughes

Interview with Mr R Hughes of 'The Sunday Times'

BROADCAST 1956
1 MINUTES

British journalist returns from meeting Burgess and Maclean in Moscow.

Douglas Stuart

Douglas Stuart

BROADCAST 1963
5 MINUTES

A meeting with a spy.

Tom Driberg and Guy Burgess copyright Getty Images

Radio Newsreel

Tom Driberg

BROADCAST 1963
2 MINUTES

The MP Tom Driberg remembers his friendship with Guy Burgess.

Donald Maclean.

PM

Donald Maclean

BROADCAST 1970
4 MINUTES

Donald Maclean writes a book on British foreign policy.

Robin Day

The World at One

Andrew Boyle

BROADCAST 1979
7 MINUTES

Andrew Boyle, the Cambridge Spies and 'The Climate of Treason'.

Anthony Blunt

News

Anthony Blunt Spy Case

BROADCAST 1979
19 MINUTES

'A case of political conscience against loyalty to country.'

Margaret Thatcher

State Security

BROADCAST 1979
7 MINUTES

Margaret Thatcher exposes Anthony Blunt's treachery in Parliament.

Andrew Boyle. Copyright Getty Images.

Platform One

Andrew Boyle

BROADCAST 1980
30 MINUTES

Reflections on an era of betrayal.

Newsnight logo.

Newsnight

BROADCAST 1981
12 MINUTES

More allegations surface of double agents within MI5.

Leo Long

Panorama

How Many More Skeletons

BROADCAST 1981
22 MINUTES

Another Cambridge spy speaks out.

Guy Burgess sunbathing

Rebels

Guy Burgess

BROADCAST 1984
27 MINUTES

A portrait of an unlikely spy.

Christopher Andrew

Outlook

The 'Fifth Man'.

BROADCAST 1990
11 MINUTES

A KGB agent names the Cambridge spy ring's 'fifth man'.

John Cairncross

Newsnight

John Cairncross

BROADCAST 1990
14 MINUTES

The 'fifth man' from the Cambridge spy ring is named.

Collage of Blunt, Burgess, Philby and Maclean

Archive Hour

Spies Like Us

BROADCAST 2001
56 MINUTES

The network the KGB dubbed the 'Magnificent Five'.

Stella Rimington

Adventures in the BBC Archive

Stella Rimington

BROADCAST 2008
56 MINUTES

A former head of MI5 investigates the Cambridge Spies.

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