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Author`s books
About the authorBooksGeorgi Markov`s casePiccadilly fileThe archives of the SSSContacts
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He underwent special training...

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He was presented with medals...

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He was paid well...

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The Double Life of Agent Piccadilly. The file of the only agent suspected of the murder of the writer, Georgi Markov and the key archive of the First Main Directorate of the SSS

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He was sent to London...

Contents E-mail

Chapter 1


Last meeting with “Piccadilly”
The action takes place in 1990 in Budapest, Hungary. “Piccadilly” is the code name of Francesco Gullino, the Zhivkov communist agent. He meets his controlling officer just days before the first democratic elections in Bulgaria. Piccadilly is to be “frozen” and all traces leading to him to be eradicated in order that they opposition in Bulgarian will not discover anything about him and his secret mission in London in 1977-1978. This was when he was given the task of “neutralising” the “Wanderer”, the pseudonym given to Georgi Markov by Bulgarian State Security. Markov was killed in 1978 in London. This final meeting with Piccadilly was not conducted by Zhivkov’s intelligence service, but by the present day National Intelligence Service of the Republic of Bulgaria.

Chapter 2

In the Shadows of the Kremlin
A retrospective view of the process of Sovietisation of Bulgaria after its occupation in September 1944 by the Soviet Army. The changes in the development of the social and political system through the eyes of Georgi Markov who became a direct witness of the terror, murders, camps, nationalization, liquidation of opposition, political trials through which the Bulgarian Communist Party established its power in the country.

Chapter 3

From the X-ray room to the Writers’ Union
The life of Georgi Markov after the consolidation of the communist regime. His development as a writer during his illness with tuberculosis and long years of treatment. His acceptance as a member of the Bulgarian Writers’ Union and the significance and control over their work by the communist authorities.

Chapter 4

The path to exile
This chapter analyses the main reasons which led to the writer leaving Bulgaria in 1969.
In 1967 Todor Zhivkov began to consolidate his authoritarian power by creating a new department within Bulgarian State Security to combat the influence of the West and its ideology. This became a political position which the dictator used to control the intelligentsia and nip in the bud every attempt by creative artists to produce meaningful art which was not subordinated to party views.
As a result of the Czechoslovak events and the fear of something similar happing, the Zhivkov regime imposed complete censorship on creative artists and their works. All Georgi Markov’s plays were banned. In this intolerable environment and the ban on writing he went to Italy for three months to visit his brother who had emigrated there in 1963.

Chapter 5

Code Name “Wanderer”
The chapter recounts the first extremely difficult years of Markov’s life as an émigré.
Part 1: The Italian period
Georgi Markov spend a year and a half in Italy, unsure of whether he should return to Bulgaria or attempt to make a living as a writer in the West.
Part 2: To London
Having run out of money, Markov went to the United Kingdom, where he moved in with Petar Uvaliev, a famous and influential Bulgarian émigré who owned a production company together with Carlo Ponti. Uvaliev promises to make a film of one of Markov’s most famous works.
Part 3: At the BBC
Uvaliev didn’t fulfil his promise to Georgi Markov and he finds work with the Bulgarian section of the BBC to earn a living. The chapter follows his difficult period of adaptation to life in London and the policies of the official British authorities towards him.
Part 4: The “Wanderer” in the Sixth Directorate
Georgi Markov while still in posessession of a fully valid Bulgarian passport, the Bulgarian Political Police start a secret file against him with the code name “Wanderer” aimed at returning him to Bulgaria.
Part 5: Cooperation with “Deutsche Welle”
(At the end of 1971 Markov begins work for the German radio station, writing essays about the processes and movements in the creative circles in Bulgaria and the social and political system).

Chapter 6

Sentenced by proxy
Markov’s essays infuriate the Central Committee of the BCP and he is declared an enemy and conduit of Western ideology. An investigation is ordered to be carried out against him. Markov is sentenced in absentia to six and a half years  in prison. The BBC protests against the sentence which has no precedent for any employee of the company.