Mr Bean is perhaps one of the funniest and most famous characters around, so much so when you watch Johnny English and Johnny English Reborn, you’d wonder how come Mr Bean managed to get hired as a secret agent. And he’s doing it yet again in Johnny English Strikes Again – scrunched up face, physical humour, silly antics and all.

But did you know that the actor himself, Rowan Atkinson, couldn’t be more different than the goofballs he always plays? He has a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Oxford. We bet you didn’t know that. On second thought, maybe his Mr Bean act is just a brilliant cover for Atkinson’s true identity. Maybe Mr Bean – is actually a secret agent!

Here are some nuggets of information we’ve dug up on Mr Bean over the years. Could it really be that he’s been a secret agent hiding in plain sight all this while?

 

1. He has a Commander of the Order of the British Empire award

Rowan Atkinson. Credit: Icy Tales

Rowan Atkinson. Credit: Icy Tales

In case you’re wondering – it’s the third highest honour that one can receive from the British Empire (the top two are the Knight Grand Cross and the Knight Commander). There are, at most, 8,960 Commanders in the world – which means that Rowan Atkinson must have done something spectacularly amazing to receive the award. Although it was reported that he got the award for his services to charity and drama – we suspect something else.

We suspect he foiled a terrorist plot.

 

2. He’s a car fanatic

Rowan the Racer. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Rowan the Racer. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

If there’s a hobby that Rowan Atkinson can be said to have – it’s cars. Not the transforming kind, but the racing kind. Such as the 1939 BMW 328 he’s been spotted driving, as well as a Jaguar MK7 and a 1964 Ford Falcon.

And he owns an Aston Martin V8 Vantage. In case you don’t know, it’s considered of the first supercars of Great Britain, with a top speed of of 170mph (274kmh) and an acceleration of 5.2 seconds (from 0 to 60mph).

Who else but a secret agent would be so well-versed in cars?

 

3. He’s survived a supercar crash

Rowan Atkinson got his McLaren rebuilt after the accident. Credit: Classic & Sports Car

Rowan Atkinson got his McLaren rebuilt after the accident. Credit: Classic & Sports Car

One of the cars that Rowan Atkinson used to own was a McLaren F1 supercar. We say “used to”, because he crashed it into a tree and then a lamppost. In case you’re wondering if this was one of his antics, it wasn’t. It was a bona fide car crash which totalled the supercar and turned it into a burning wreck.

And from the flames, Rowan Atkinson escaped – with only a shoulder injury. He had to be taken to a hospital for “minor injuries”.

Just like James Bond.

 

4. He survived another car crash – completely unscathed

A retro photo of Rowan Atkinson and his Aston Martin V8 Zagato. Credit: Car and Classic

A retro photo of Rowan Atkinson and his Aston Martin V8 Zagato. Credit: Car and Classic

Remember that Aston Martin V8 Vantage we mentioned earlier? Well, it turns out that Rowan Atkinson also owned an Aston Martin V8 Zagato – that he wrecked in a race. It was an Aston Martin Owner’s Club event at a legit set of race car tracks, the Croft Racing Circuit.

While the car was destroyed, Atkinson himself was barely even scratched. After the event, his agent said that “he races quite a lot and he is absolutely fine.”

After surviving two car crashes, Rowan Atkinson couldn’t possibly top that with a more stunning feat right? Right? Well…

 

5. He landed an airplane when the pilot fainted

Rowan Atkinson and his wife Sunetra. Credit: BBC

Rowan Atkinson and his wife Sunetra. Credit: BBC

You know how all those spy movies will end up with the secret agent having to land an airplane because the pilot got knocked out? Well, Rowan Atkinson did exactly that. When he took a private jet with his family, the pilot passed out in mid-air – in the middle of a 75-minute journey between Mombasa and Nairobi in Africa.

The man did what any good secret agent would do. He took control of the Cessna 202 aircraft in a dramatic turn of events, saving his wife and two children (oh, and the pilot) from certain doom.

 

6. He led a political revolution against the government

The more serious side of Rowan Atkinson. Credit: Mandy

The more serious side of Rowan Atkinson. Credit: Mandy

To be more precise, Rowan Atkinson headed a coalition of prominent actors and writers to oppose a new law in the United Kingdom in 2005. Back then, there was a law against the incitement of racial hatred – but not so much against religious hatred. A bill was brought up to extend the law to cover religious as well as racial hatred.

His concern was that this would mean that comedians would no longer be able to make fun of religion and it was a curtailment of the right to free speech. While the law was eventually passed, it was toned down to specifically cover the problem of religious issues.

Imagine this – a lone man (and his friends), going up against the powerful government to fight for a cause they believed in. Sounds like the plot of about half the spy movies out there (Mission Impossible, we’re looking at you), and Rowan Atkinson lived it.

Johnny English Strikes Again. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Johnny English Strikes Again. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Want to see Rowan Atkinson in action as a secret agent? He’s back as Johnny English in Johnny English Strikes Again, the third instalment in the Johnny English series. In the film, a devastating database hack reveals the names of all the secret agents in Britain, forcing the Secret Service to turn to their last analogue hope. Can the least skilled and least knowledgeable of Britain’s spies solve this crisis, even though he knows bollocks about technology? It’s definitely going to take more than a spot of tea to save the day.

But if a spot of tea is what you’re looking for, then the Gold Class Dessert Set: Johnny English Strikes Again is just the thing for you! Not only do you get a piping hot cup of TWG Eternal Summer Tea, you also get to enjoy an English Raisin Pudding with Toffee Sauce and Vanilla Ice Cream in Gold Class comfort. Best of all, you don’t need to be a secret agent to enjoy Johnny English’s latest escapades. Will he manage to defeat the bad guys, get the girl, and pilot a plane to safety?

Eh…

We think so.

 

Credits: Icy Tales, Express, Classic & Sports Car, Car and Classic, BBC, Mandy, Golden Village Cinemas

 

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