Spy Blake says enjoying comfortable old age in Russia
British double agent George Blake, who famously escaped to the USSR from prison, is enjoying a comfortable old age in Russia, developing a taste for vodka and making a film of his life, he revealed Thursday.
Blake escaped from Wormwood Scrubs jail in London in 1966 in a legendary prison break after being exposed as a Soviet spy and ended up in the USSR where he has been looked after by his spymasters ever since.
The agent told the Izvestia newspaper in an extremely rare interview to mark his 88th birthday that "the Service" -- the KGB-successor Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) -- had always cared for his welfare.
Izvestia published a new picture of a cheery-looking Blake holding a shot of vodka but dressed like an English dandy, in a suit, waistcoat and tie, topped off by a wooden cane.
"It is very important for me that the Service shows great respect to people who have devoted their lives to it," said Blake.
Blake also expressed satisfaction that "everything worked out in my private life" after his escape, meeting his second wife in Russia with whom he had a now adult son. He lives in a "comfortable, four room flat".
He also revealed he now has a grandchild "15, a developed boy, who speaks English well and recently visited Britain".
Blake said he still enjoyed the lifestyle in Russia, noting that "everyday without exception I go for a two-hour walk with my wife" and that he used to enjoy skiing in the forests before developing problems with his eyesight.
"I've also learned to drink vodka. Before, I could not stand it," he said.
Recently Blake has been busy working with a production team making a film based on his memoirs, which he said would be faithful to the truth.
"Every spy is an actor, who can play out his role for the sake of the job," said Blake.
He admitted that the reality in the Soviet Union had "little to do with the idealized Communist society that I had dreamed of."
But arriving in the USSR as a free man after his escape from jail it did not matter "if here there were not ten different types of sausage," he said.
© 2010 AFP