Former GCHQ director speaks out about working for spy base
A former director of GCHQ will talk about his time working at the Government's intelligence service base in Cheltenham tomorrow night on the BBC.
Sir Arthur Bonsall, began working for the Government's secret code-breaking service in 1939, undertaking confidential war work at Bletchley Park.
He became the sixth director of GCHQ in 1973 and stayed in post until 1978 and this is the first time he has spoken on camera about his work.
In 2009, he met The Queen when she visited GCHQ to celebrate 100 years of Britain’s security services.
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Speaking at the time, he said: “It’s not the first time I’ve met her, but she never visited while I was director.
“We did not have any Royal visits because in those days the Government liked to act as though GCHQ did not exist. Our work was so secretive that they tried to keep it low-profile.
“This time she just asked me a few questions about what I did. The first time I met her was in London while I was still director at GCHQ.
“It was the day her first grandchild was born. I remember she was a little late for our meeting, which was unheard of.
“When she did meet me she said, ‘Can you believe it? I’m a grandmother now.’”
Inside Out is broadcast on BBC One West and West Midlands at 7:30 BST on Monday and will be available on the iPlayer for seven days thereafter.