Former Downton Abbey actor Hugh Bonneville told the BBC that suspecte his late mother was a spy for MI6 .
Revealing his Desert Island Discs on BBC Radio 4, the actor, who also starred in BBC comedy W1A, said she never talked about her 30 years of work for the security service.
He told the programme, he has asked her outright ,but she denied being a spy.
He also confesses to having felt intimidated acting with his on-screen mother in Downton, Dame Maggie Smith.
He told Kirsty Young his father and mother went to Singapore together,worked for the Foreign Office and act as a doctor and a nurse in daily life.
When he was about 10 years old ,they living in London, and his mother took a job which just need work 3 days a week.
But he did not ask her about it until much later on.
‘Mum, you’re a spy’
He said: “We used to drop her off at her office sometimes at Lambeth North.
“I opened the newspaper one day and it said ‘Century House MI6 building to be sold’ and I looked at the photograph and said, ‘Mum, that’s your office.’
“One day i read the newspaper and it said ‘Century House MI6 building to be sold’ , I looked at the photograph carefully and said, ‘Mum, that’s your office.’
“She said ‘Mmm, yes dear.’ I said, ‘You’re a spy?’.
“She said ‘No, I’m not a spy dear.'”
One year ago, Bonneville ‘s mother died. And he asked his father if she ever said anything about her work: “He said, ‘Never, she just went to the office.'”
“All of my momery is she didn’t have special umbrellas or knives coming out of her toe caps or anything like that, only thing she did is work in the office.
“But I am extremely proud, not only that she found fulfilment in that work, as well as bringing up us kids, but that she never spoke about it.”
Her nickname in the valley where his parents retired, he said, was “the Colonel”, as she was “a do-er”.