Game of Thrones star Kit Harington’s unlikely connection to James Bond as he uncovers family’s spy history

KIT HARINGTON is supposed to be the star of his family — but it turns out his grandad was a superspy who was probably the inspiration for James Bond.

The Game of Thrones hunk delves into the history of his relative, MI5 and MI6 agent John Harington, for a new series of My Grandparents’ War, which starts tonight on Channel 4 at 9pm.

Actor Kit Harington delves into the history of his relative for a new series of My Grandparents’ War
The Game of Thrones star will find out his grandad was MI5 and MI6 agent John Harington, a spy who inspired James Bond
The Game of Thrones star will find out his grandad was MI5 and MI6 agent John Harington, a spy who inspired James BondCredit: Handout
John was one of Britain's top spies during World War Two
John was one of Britain’s top spies during World War Two
He also investigates his grandparents on his mum’s side, Mick and Pippa Catesby
He also investigates his grandparents on his mum’s side, Mick and Pippa Catesby

And Kit jokes that he wishes his tall, handsome ancestor had passed on some of his physical traits so he could play 007 after Daniel Craig’s departure.

Kit says of his grandparents: “What’s been fascinating is seeing glimpses of me in them. We’re all a big melting point of our four grandparents.

“But as an actor with a tantalising vacancy in the film world, there’s one thing they didn’t give me — if they’d have just passed me a few more of the tall genes, I might have been up for Bond.

“Everything’s there, they gave me everything, they equipped me with everything — but they made me 5ft 7ins, which is about two or three inches too short to be James Bond.”

Kit, who’s descended from a long line of Harington aristocrats and is related to Gunpowder Plot conspirator Robert Catesby, discovers that his grandfather served alongside Bond creator Ian Fleming.

They were in naval intelligence before being recruited by MI5 and MI6. He also ran one of the most controversial spying operations of the 20th Century and later worked with notorious Russian double agent Kim Philby.

Kit jokes: “You know what is unfortunate — his intelligence has not been passed down to me either.”

Meanwhile he learns that his grandmother, Lavender, married John just days after they met — and that she also worked for the British Secret Services in what was known as “The Bletchley Park of the Caribbean”. Meanwhile, he investigates his grandparents on his mum’s side, Mick and Pippa Catesby.

Most read in The Scottish Sun

They fell in love during the Blitz, but their lives were irrevocably damaged when Mick was sent to fight in Italy for over three years. On a trip there, Kit uncovers the operation on which Mick lost dozens of close comrades.

The actor says he now understands why his grandfather, a decorated hero, returned home with shellshock and never spoke about the conflict.

The former star of Spooks on BBC1 — now married to Vigil actor Rose Leslie, with whom he has a son — says he admired the fact his relatives didn’t boast about their achievements in World War II.

He adds: “Theres this idea of being humble, not showing off, which I hold really dear.”

There was also light in the shade, when Kit learns that Pippa was one of the nurses who — after the streets near their Exeter hospital was bombed — had to retrieve her knickers from a cabbage patch after the blast sucked possessions out a shattered window.

Which all sounds a bit more Carry On movie than Bond flick…


IF the BBC was ever to take inspiration from ITV’s I’m A Celebrity and host their own Strictly ‘All Stars’ contest, there may be an unlikely winner.

A study analysed the number of times every individual dance over the years has been viewed on YouTube.

And Hollyoaks Ashley Taylor Dawson‘s 2013 salsa with Ola Jordan has come out on top.

Ashley, who is best known as ‘Oaks bad boy Darren Osbourne, only came sixth but somehow his dance to Gloria Estefan’s Conga has amassed 9.9million views.

Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Brendan Cole’s Charleston to Rock It For Me made her the most-watched female star, with 6.2million views according to the research by LiveScore Bet.

At least she made the final.


THIS Morning host Dermot O’Leary has revealed a cheeky secret – he once locked lips with ex Bake Off host, Mel Giedroyc.

He locked lips with Mel during a “debauched” wrap party when the pair worked together on C4 show Light Lunch in the late Nineties.

This Morning's Dermot O’Leary once locked lips with ex Bake Off host, Mel Giedroyc

This Morning’s Dermot O’Leary once locked lips with ex Bake Off host, Mel GiedroycCredit: Getty

Dermot left her red faced when he revealed all on the new series of her Dave show Unforgivable which returns on Tuesday at 10pm.

He said: “I was just starting out in television and I got a job on this wonderful show called Light Lunch. It was a wonderful show to work on. Our wrap party was quite debauched.

“It was famous for everyone throwing off their shackles and getting rid of any sexual tension that might have been built up through the series. Long story short, everyone snogs everyone else. I end up snogging the talent!”

Getting flustered, Mel admitted: “I’ve gone really quiet and sweaty. Well Derm, I enjoyed it!

“It was just honest Nineties snogging, wasn’t it?” I didn’t know that was a thing…


GRAHAM NORTON will be back this month as his Bafta-award winning talk show returns to BBC1 for its 30th series.

And even after 15 years, it sounds like he’s still attracting the big name guests.

Graham Norton's Bafta-award winning talk show will be back this month for its 30th series
Graham Norton’s Bafta-award winning talk show will be back this month for its 30th seriesCredit: Splash

The comedian has lined up the Oscar-winning star of Bohemian Rhapsody Rami Malek and scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis.

Royal fans complain about 'disrespectful' gestures at Queen's procession
Heartbroken fans say same thing about Harry & William in Queen's procession

It’s a Sin’s Lydia West will join to chat about her new BBC thriller Inside Man and pop superstar Robbie Williams is due to perform his new single Lost.

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