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I Spy Tom Morton In The Car Park Again

Jeff Zycinski | 14:15 UK time, Friday, 7 August 2009


A flashback experience this morning as Tom Morton emerged from a camper van parked at the back of the BBC in Inverness. He gave me a guided tour of said vehicle and the interior can only be described as "spartan" and designed for the thinner man. It brought back memories of the period when he lived in a camper van while presenting his morning show from Inverness. Did that really happen? Yes.

Tom, today, was on his way to the Belladrum music festival but stopped off in Inverness to present his afternoon show and to tell me about the various irons he has in various fires.
The latest is his new book - Serpetine - a thriller about former spies set partly in the Highlands. It's the only book I've ever been given the chance to read while it was still in manuscript form but my description of it as a "gripping page turner" never made it as part of the cover blurb. I should have written "free fiver on page 62".

Tom and I are both convinced that we have met at least two former spies during our time living in Inverness. Maybe this is where retired agents are sent out to pasture. A bit like The Village in that old sixties TV series, The Prisoner.

So it got us thinking about a possible conversation series involving ex-intelligence officers (or Spooks). An amazing number of them seem to end up writing books or articles about their experiences. Shocking really.

I once had to sign the Official Secrets Act myself. It was while I was a student and I got a job working as a temporary postman at Christmas. To this day, I have never blabbed about my work.

But I'm open to offers.


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