MI5 has had to warn people applying for secret security service jobs that the life of a spy isn’t what it looks like in TV action drama Spooks.

Popular on LondonNet

“A career in the Service is about brain, not brawn, carefully piecing together vital intelligence to protect the UK and its people,” a source told the Daily Mail.

Britain’s spy chiefs want to recruit more women to MI5, where currently 59% of the staff are men. But it seems Spooks isn’t helping the cause, especially as four of its female stars have been killed in the line of duty.

“Spooks is a great TV show, but the violence can put women off applying for jobs at MI5,” said the source.

When Spooks is aired on a Monday night, traffic to MI5’s website goes up by 300% and seven out of ten of the searches are job-related.