Damian Lewis: Spy Wars - History

Damian Lewis: Spy Wars sees the actor donning a different hat to present a documentary series about spying

Damian Lewis: Spy Wars is a bit of a change of gear for the actor, though he has starred in several spy thrillers, including Homeland and the 2016 John le Carré film Our Kind of Traitor.

But now he’s swapping acting for presenting (something he’s never done before, unless you count a few stints on Have I Got News for You) to front this rollercoaster new eight-part series about real-life spies.

The tales are far more thrilling – and far-fetched – than any James Bond-style fiction, too.

MORE: Damian Lewis gets an OBE

This week it’s the story of KGB double agent Oleg Gordievsky. He risked everything to save the world from nuclear war back in the 1980s, at a time when Reagan and Andropov had their fingers on the red button.

A car containing a hidden Oleg Gordievsky

Getting Oleg Gordievsky out of the USSR

But when his cover was eventually blown, MI6 had to launch a top-secret operation to exfiltrate Gordievsky from Moscow, which involved smuggling him in the boot of a car across the border to Finland.

TV Times rating: ****