John Banville at the Guardian on the footage (from Blunt's press conference the day after Margaret Thatcher outed him in parliament as the fourth member of the Philby-Burgess-Maclean spy ring) that inspired his novel The Untouchable:
Blunt, in tweed jacket and corduroys, was seated on a small chair at one end of the room, while at the other a scrum of journos was getting itself ready with pens and notebooks and flashbulbs. It was obvious that Blunt did not know that a camera off to his right was already rolling, for although he remained for the most part motionless and impassive, at one point, as he watched his interrogators fussing with their implements of persuasion, the faintest ghost of a smile passed across his face. What the smile said was: Do these people really imagine they will get anything of consequence out of me, a man who has spent decades being grilled with scant success by the best spycatchers in the land? It was at that moment that I knew I would have to base a novel on this man.
The Untouchable is a remarkably good novel, the only one of Banville's that I really have loved (I read two or three all in a rush in 1994 or so on the recommendation of someone whose judgment I think very well of, and concluded with reluctance that they were just not for me--there is an attenuated quality to the worlds he makes which in conjunction with the heightened language leaves me relatively unmoved--and I don't like very much of Michael Ondaatje either, for some reason I associate the two of them, the Ondaatje book I love is Running in the Family and I did like Anil's Ghost but I actively disliked The English Patient with its awful lushness--oh, and there's the link that made me associate them, I was just thinking "Wait a minute, why on earth did I get Banville and Ondaatje connected in my head, their prose styles could hardly be more different?" but it is the thief Caravaggio who reminds me by association of Banville's art-obsessed protagonists): something dramatic happens here, something to do with character and voice that I haven't seen in the others and that made me really fall for this one. I've got The Sea here waiting to be read, I'm looking forward to it, and yet it is never quite the book I want to pick up next. Perhaps this will spur me to read it this weekend?