Her Majesty's secret service is taking on a bunch of apprentice spies straight from school.

They are destined for careers sitting at computers fighting cyber crime. But hopefully some will get into the more glamorous side of the business and go fully operational like James Bond.

At the bingo in Glasgow, a proud mum tells her pals how awfy well her boy is doing as a special agent:

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He started off making tea containing truth drugs and collecting stuff from dead-letter boxes. But now he's full-time on the road carrying 007's deadly briefcase and clearing away dead bodies.

He's on a good wage with two nights and double time on Sunday. He says the place has never been busier counteracting attempts at world domination by arch-villains and evil organisations.

His company car is an Aston Martin DB5 with loads of gadgets including one which makes him a cup of coffee (milk and two sugars) on his way to work. If the traffic's bad, he uses his jet pack.

He gets loads of air miles through the work, especially recently with a lot of something called extraordinary rendition. He's just off for a long weekend break, his mum says, doing some waterboarding. He loves his sport.

It's a great social life down in London. All dinner jackets and martinis which have been stirred but not shaken. But he often pops up to Glasgow with his girlfriend, Miss Moneypenny, for a few pints in the west end followed by a kebab in a bus shelter.

The work can be dangerous. The boy has just got a 13-week sick line for a bad leg he got from a Bulgarian with a poison-tipped umbrella. But he says: "What the hell? You only live twice."