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U.K. Intelligence Agency MI5 Allows Cameras at HQ For First Time

MI5 Headquarters Allow TV Cameras In For The First Time 0:54

LONDON — Britain's domestic intelligence agency MI5 has for the first time allowed cameras inside its London headquarters as part of a children's television show.

The BBC program Blue Peter was allowed inside the building as part of a contest for kids aged 8 to 14 interested in the world of spying.

More than 5,000 youngsters entered the competition, named Project Petra after one of the show's on-set pets.

The three winners — 13-year-old Reuben, 13-year-old Jamie and 10-year-old Finley — were given a tour of the Thames House headquarters, shown some gadgets and conducted the first television interview with MI5 Director General Andrew Parker.

"Before going into MI5 I felt really nervous but excited at the same time because I knew no kids or TV cameras had ever been in MI5 before," Jamie said in a BBC statement about the event. "It felt really cool because we were making history."

The visit was due to air during Thursday's episode of Blue Peter at 5 p.m. local time (noon ET) on the BBC's children's channel, CBBC.

— Alexander Smith