The Spying Game: The Bodyguard

Listen to The Spying Game

Ex-US Secret Service agent and Medal of Valor recipient Evy Poumpouras and Jed Mercurio, creator of the acclaimed series Bodyguard and Line of Duty, break down deception, drama, and duty in SPYSCAPE’s The Spying Game podcast.


Ex-US Secret Service agent Evy Poumpouras was a Presidential bodyguard for Homeland Security, protecting a long line of dignitaries and US Presidents including George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

The job included mapping out vulnerable arrival and departure points as well as memorizing routes and locations of hospitals and safe houses. So The Spying Game podcast host Rory Bremner couldn’t help but ask: Who’s really in charge, the bodyguard or the VIP - particularly if the President decides on a last-minute route change?

“It’s really well thought out, so in those situations, I’m going the route I want to go. I’m not listening to you,” Poumpouras said in her matter-of-fact, no-nonsense style.


The Spying Game: The Bodyguard
Evy Poumpouras with former US President Barack Obama


The Spying Game: The Bodyguard

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Listen to The Spying Game

Ex-US Secret Service agent and Medal of Valor recipient Evy Poumpouras and Jed Mercurio, creator of the acclaimed series Bodyguard and Line of Duty, break down deception, drama, and duty in SPYSCAPE’s The Spying Game podcast.


Ex-US Secret Service agent Evy Poumpouras was a Presidential bodyguard for Homeland Security, protecting a long line of dignitaries and US Presidents including George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

The job included mapping out vulnerable arrival and departure points as well as memorizing routes and locations of hospitals and safe houses. So The Spying Game podcast host Rory Bremner couldn’t help but ask: Who’s really in charge, the bodyguard or the VIP - particularly if the President decides on a last-minute route change?

“It’s really well thought out, so in those situations, I’m going the route I want to go. I’m not listening to you,” Poumpouras said in her matter-of-fact, no-nonsense style.


The Spying Game: The Bodyguard
Evy Poumpouras with former US President Barack Obama


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In addition to working as a VIP bodyguard, Evy’s trained to administer polygraphs and one of her true superpowers is her ability to coax interview subjects into baring their souls.

“The number one thing about being a good reader is to stop thinking about yourself and really look at the human being across from you - and they are going to show you everything,” Poumpouras told Bremner. “That’s how you figure out motives, values, what they think, what they feel. And the best part - the number one thing I tell people - is, ‘Shut up and let people talk.’”

Poumpouras and Bremner were trading secrets on SPYSCAPE’s podcast The Spying Game, which brings together major Hollywood storytellers and top international spies to break down what we see on screen, separate fact from fiction, and shine a light on extraordinary characters and skills.


The Spying Game: The Bodyguard
Richard Madden stars as David Budd, an Afghanistan veteran in Mercurio’s thriller Bodyguard


Jed Mercurio: Line of Duty

Pompouras and Bremner are joined on the podcast by Jed Mercurio, a former doctor and Royal Air Force officer, who thrives in highly charged, life-and-death situations. Mercurio knows a thing or two about protection officers himself after creating his acclaimed television series Bodyguard.

He works closely with police advisers and strives for authenticity. “I want to get everything as accurate as possible - I’m not claiming that I do. I know sometimes we get it wrong and sometimes that’s intentional. We use artistic license,” he explained.

“On Bodyguard we had police advisers, and then we had two advisers who were involved in the protection command in the Metropolitan Police,” Mercurio said. “You add all those together and you hope to get a picture that at least represents a realistic version of what goes on in the real world.”

It can be a bit too realistic for some, however. Mercurio sent the first episode of his British police crime drama Line of Duty to Scotland Yard for feedback: “Yeah, that didn’t go well,” he told Bremner. “Because In the opening sequence, an innocent man is shot in a counterterrorism operation. They were saying that’s not something that they would do.”

The Spying Game: The Bodyguard
Jed Mercurio, creator of high-quality dramas including Netflix’s thriller Bloodline

The Spying Game

Keeping it real is all part of the job, however.

Evy Poumpouras was working in New York’s World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, when two planes crashed into the twin towers. She stayed to help people evacuate as parts of the building broke apart. As she set up a triage to save the injured, the building collapsed around her.

As a result, Poumpouras is one of only five women to receive the US Secret Service Medal Of Valor for her heroism on 9/11.

Evy Poumpouras received the US Secret Service Medal Of Valor

To hear more about Poumpouras’ incredible experiences and behind-the-scenes stories about her time guarding four US Presidents, tune into The Spying Game, available on Apple and other podcast platforms.

Listeners will also hear more of Jed Mercurio’s writing secrets and how he drew inspiration from the July 7, 2005 bombing attacks on the London Underground to shape his ideas of terrorism and policing for Line of Duty and Bodyguard.

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