DID you see the newly-found footage of Kim Philby on the news this week?

There he is in 1981 giving a secret lecture to the Stasi, the East German Secret Service.

Gone are the cool suave upper class English good looks. Instead he wears dull suit and ludicrously large dark glasses.

He is flabby and pale.

At this point some readers below a certain age might be wondering: Kim who?

But the rare mentions of his name these days make me sit up to attention.

For Philby’s is one of the most fascinating stories of post war British history.

He offers a thrilling peek back into a time long lost.

Of treachery in a class-bound system, of cloak and dagger espionage, as Britain clung on to the remnants of Empire.

And above all else, it is of a story of a man who remains unfathomable to this day but whose shoes you want to step into and ask: why did you do it Kim?

Philby was one of the Cambridge Four, spies recruited by the Soviet Union from the highest echelons of British society.

All were the sons of privilege, charming and louche.

Gentlemen’s club White’s in St James’s Street was their highly exclusive watering hole.

He rose, largely through the old boy network in hideous class-bound England, to become MI6’s head of anti-Soviet operations.

But from the late 30s, astonishingly, he was meeting KGB spies in London parks, handing over thousands of documents.

As evidence of his espionage mounted up, the dim-witted toffs who led our security services couldn’t believe it because Kim was “one of us”.

Information Philby gave to his handlers undoubtedly led to the deaths of hundreds of British agents and anti-communist fighters.

Philby believed in what he was doing.

Like many at that time, there seemed a straight choice. As fascism grew in Europe, communism seemed to be the perfect ideological tool to fight it.

But even when Stalin was later discovered to be Hitler’s despotic doppelganger and many radicals began to melt away, Philby stuck with his beliefs.

His defection in 1963 was a huge blow to British certainty and helped hasten the end of the old order.

The Beatles and free love were around the corner.

His many biographers have struggled with the central question of why Philby never expressed contrition for his treachery, nor why he couldn’t see what everyone else did: that his ideals were entirely corrupted by the actuality of the Soviet Union and its murderous regime.

There was certainly little in his upbringing to suggest he would do anything other than follow the path that would keep his gilded life on track.

Drink had always been a big part of his life and in the few pictures that were snatched of him in Russia in later years, grubby overcoat and flat cap a sharp contrast to the immaculate hair and dinner jackets of his younger days, there were perhaps signs that the bottle was his ultimate defence against any self questioning.

Philby died alone, an alcoholic, in a shabby Moscow flat in 1988.

It was a long way from White’s and talk of the cricket.

The Argus: Helen Titchener, played by Louiza Patikas, and Rob Titchener, played by Timothy Watson. Picture: Pete Dadds/BBCHelen Titchener, played by Louiza Patikas, and Rob Titchener, played by Timothy Watson. Picture: Pete Dadds/BBC

Ok now that’s it. I can’t take it anymore. Regular readers will be aware of my love of The Archers, something I couldn’t have admitted even five years ago.

You might also be aware that the growing gothic horror of Rob Titchener’s psychological bullying and beasting of his wife Helen has had me on the edge of my seat (admittedly not advisable in a car) in a way only brilliant drama on the radio can.

Well she’s only gone and stabbed him multiple times.

The Archers cast is now clucking hysterically like chickens with a fox in the coup.

But while the rest of the media went nuclear on murder in Ambridge (the crime that broke Twitter) regulars knew better.

Yes, Rob is still breathing and our hell is to go on.