Why Dusko Popov was the real James Bond
Below are two documentaries prepared and posted by British and French sources. The first video is in English,
while the second is in French (with Serbian subtitles). Note that the French video has several portions in English
and one can easily follow the content. These documentaries contain rare footage of Popov himself, as well as interviews with his son (Marco), three historians, and another spy. You'll see great WWII footage and scenes as well. Meet the real James Bond here.
"I suppose I'm stuck with this Bond thing. I have been ever since Bond's creator, Ian Fleming, admitted using me as a model."
May 19, 1974
"Mr. Popov was the most important and successful double agent working for the British during the war."
MI6 officer and author
Ian Fleming's Bond
Shortly after the success of his Bond novels, Ian Fleming agreed to license the use of his character for a comic strip. Below is Fleming's commissioned sketch for how he envisioned James Bond. On the right is Dusko Popov, the MI6 agent he'd heard about and shadowed in Casino Estoril. A coincidence?
HISTORICAL NOTE: In the early 1960s, Ian Fleming was often asked if his James Bond character was based on a real person. Fleming's typical response, given in an almost flippant manner, was that Bond was based on people he had met during the war. Due to the Official Secrets Act, however, he could say no more. Ian Fleming died in 1964, never publicly disclosing the identity of the man who inspired the James Bond figure we see in Casino Royale. In 1972, Oxford don and the MI5 Double Cross mastermind, J. C. Masterman, published The Double-Cross System, his account of running Britain's WWII double agents. Since British publishers were leery of running afoul of the Official Secrets Act, the book was published in the United States by Yale University Press. For legal and secrecy reasons, Masterman referred to all agents only by their code names. The most prominent name in the book, by far, is agent Tricycle. Two years later, in 1974, Dusko Popov disclosed to the world—for the first time—that he was Tricycle, and that Fleming had shadowed him in Estoril and had watched his incredible stunt at Casino Estoril in 1941.