Indira Varma and Raza Jaffrey to host new podcast The Spy Who

Actors Indira Varma and Raza Jaffrey are to host a new podcast that goes deep into the world of double agents and espionage.

The Spy Who is an “always-on” UK original podcast from Wondery exploring the clandestine and covert spy stories that were never meant to be heard. It reveals the incredible true tales of operatives playing to very different rules.

The podcast uncovers the invisible but vital work of the world’s intelligence services, with each season going deep into the real-life story of a special agent, unearthing daring missions, double crosses and dangerous liaisons.

The series kicks off with The Spy Who Inspired 007, the story of Dusko Popov, a Serbian spy who operated during the Second World War. 

As a secret agent for MI5, MI6 and the FBI, Popov’s blend of instinct, intelligence and intrepidness – aligned with a liking for women, gambling and a playboy lifestyle, saw him deployed on several high-level missions.

When James Bond creator Ian Fleming was said to have observed Popov throwing an outrageous baccarat bet in a casino, the seeds of the world’s most famous fictional spy were sown.

The Spy Who Inspired James Bond tracks the story of the agent, living life in the fast lane of the 1940s, from discovering the secrets of Japanese interest in Pearl Harbour to passing off disinformation to Germany around the D-Day landings.

The podcast investigates the truth behind the legend of Popov and asks is he truly the spy that 007 was based on?

In the final episode, Charlotte Philby, writer and granddaughter of Kim Philby, British intelligence officer and the most successful Soviet double agent of the Cold War, turns the spotlight onto an espionage expert closely connected to the story to unlock the mysteries of the season and reveal the need-to-know facts around the spy’s life undercover.

Jessica Radburn Head of International Podcast Content at Wondery said: “This gripping new series fuses Wondery’s cinematic approach to storytelling with a razor-sharp script, creating a thrilling new podcast with global appeal.

“Our brilliant hosts Indira and Raza will plant listeners in the heat of the action, taking you on a journey deep into the mysterious world of espionage, intelligence and undercover agents.”

The Spy Who is an original format from Wondery, written and story edited by Yellow Ant, with production, casting and sound-design by Vespucci.

Johnny Galvin and Daniel Turcan, co-founders at Vespucci, said: “We’re thrilled to be working with Wondery, Yellow Ant, Indira, Raza and Charlotte on such a remarkable new show. These stories have all the twists, turns and vivid detail you’d expect from a Wondery show, and we’ve been incredibly intentional about our casting and sound-design to create an unsettling world where all is not as it seems.”

Tristan Donovan, founder of Yellow Ant, said: “We’re delighted to be making this exciting new Wondery show with Vespucci, Indira, Raza and Charlotte. The Spy Who puts listeners right in the heart of the murky world of espionage in a way that only audio can.

“It’s been fantastic for us and our writers to be able to bring alive these danger-filled, true-spy stories in a new and thrilling way.”

The Spy Who launches on 27 February.

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