A plan to extract the precious double agent from Britain almost stopped, because the Queen wanted to borrow a video recorder to watch a replay of Dad's Army.
Oleg Gordievsky, a KGB officer turned into a double agent British spy, was in the grip of the Soviet Union and needed to be rescued immediately by MI6.
But the operation had to be approved by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who was staying with the queen in Balmoral.
The queen (in the photo) almost stopped the mission to extract Oleg Gordievsky from the clutches of the KGB because he wanted to see an episode of Dad's Army
An operation to extract Britain's most precious double agent almost got frustrated because the Queen wanted to see Dad's army (pictured)
Thatcher's most trusted advisor, Charles Powell, had to rush to Scotland to get his approval because the plan was so secret that it could not be discussed over the phone.
He said: & # 39; It was so secret, later I had a problem so that I would be reimbursed my expenses & # 39;
However, when Mr. Powell arrived, he stopped short and waited 20 minutes at the entrance for a squire on the phone trying to locate the video recorder of the Queen Mother.
After which Mr. Powell was interrogated intensely by the private secretary of the queen, Sir Philip Moore, on why he had appeared without warning.
The former KGB Russian colonel, Oleg Gordievsky (pictured) was in the grip of the KGB and needed to be rescued
The plan to rescue Gordievsky (pictured) almost got frustrated when government adviser Charles Powell had to wait 20 minutes when he arrived in Balmoral while they were locating a video recorder.
Powell insisted he could not reveal why he was there because it was very secret.
To which Moore is quoted: "We can not have people wandering around the Balmoral property without knowing why they are here."
Finally, Mr. Powell came to Thatcher, who approved Operation Pimlico and the valiant attempt to save Gordievsky from a KGB prison.
The revelation was made in a forthcoming book called The Spy And The Traitor, by Ben Macintyre.
The book also deepens when former Labor Party leader Michael Foot stepped out of the Supreme Court in London after he won a landmark defamation case against The Sunday Times on July 7, 1995.
The newspaper had accused him of having been an agent of the KGB, operating under the code name of "Boot & # 39 ;.
A new book by Ben Macintyre goes deep when it was thought that the leader of the Labor Party, Michael Foot (pictured) was a spy
You were awarded substantial damages & # 39; as well as its legal costs, which together amounted to the equivalent of £ 250,000 today. Foot insisted that the story was nonsense.
"What the Sunday Times said was so serious – that it was a spy who had served one of the most perverse organizations that has existed this century – I thought it had to be erased," Foot said, before leaving to celebrate at his his favorite restaurant, the Gay Hussar, the Hungarian restaurant in Soho, where Foot was said to have met his KGB handlers.
Since then, the world has believed that Foot was innocent, with many predictable voices on the left that dismissed the accusations as "defamation". of the 'right-wing press'.
Mr. Foot (pictured) won a defamation case against The Sunday Times, which accused him of being an agent of the KGB, but MI6 believed he was a Soviet.
However, yesterday it emerged sensationally that the Secret Intelligence Service, better known as MI6, certainly believed that the Labor leader was a Soviet source, and was even willing to tell the Queen if Foot became prime minister.
If Margaret Thatcher had lost the Falklands War in 1982, then that unthinkable situation could well have happened: a Soviet agent rising to the highest office on earth, with access to the deepest state secrets.
It also appears that Foot received today's equivalent of almost £ 40,000 for the information he supplied to the Soviet Union.
Who were the Cambridge Five? The Soviet double agents that shook the British establishment
The "Five of Cambridge" espionage scandal shook the establishment by revealing Soviet double agents at the heart of many of Britain's most important institutions.
Kim Philby, Guy Burgess, Donald Maclean and Anthony Blunt met at the University of Cambridge, where Blunt was an academic and the other three were university students.
The older man recruited the students for the Soviet cause before the Second World War and remained dedicated to the USSR even after the start of the Cold War.
Donald Maclean (left) and Kim Philby (right) were also members of the infamous Cambridge Five spy ring
Philby was head of counterintelligence for MI6, while Maclean was an official of the Foreign Office and Burgess worked for the BBC.
Blunt was the most eminent of all, as director of the Courtauld Institute and guardian of the art collection of the royal family.
In 1951, Burgess and Maclean were exposed as double agents, but after receiving a warning from Philby they were able to escape to Moscow.
Despite the suspicion that surrounded Philby, he avoided detection until 1963, when he also defected to the USSR.
Blunt escaped the exhibition for a longer time: it was not until 1979, when Margaret Thatcher named him a suspect in the House of Commons, that he confessed his betrayal and took away his titles.
The & # 39; fifth man & # 39; In the ring of espionage has never been definitively identified, but was named as John Cairncross by the KGB defector Oleg Gordievsky.
The story of the unlikely traitors has been dramatized several times, including in the classic book by John le Carre Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and a 2003 BBC series entitled Cambridge Spies.
Anthony Blunt (left), the guardian of the royal family's art collection, was exposed as the fourth member of the Cambridge ring of spies in 1979. The fifth member was never formally identified, although the Soviet defector Oleg Gordievsky appointed the former British intelligence officer John Cairncross (right) as the final link