James Bond's Q Is a Woman in Real Life, U.K. Secret Service Boss Reveals

Francois Duhamel
Ben Whishaw as Q in 'Skyfall.'

Ben Whishaw is the current incarnation of 007's legendary gadget master.

The character has been played by Ben Whishaw, John Cleese, Desmond Llewelyn and, just once (and very briefly), Peter Burton. 

But it seems 007 casting directors have been getting one crucial thing wrong about James Bond's legendary provider of rocket-firing cars, nifty last-minute life-saving gadgets and that magnetic watch that can undo zips: Q. 

Delivering the keynote speech at the Women in IT Awards, held in London Wednesday, the head of Britain's Secret Service, Alex Younger, revealed that the real-life Quartermaster is female. 

"If any of you would like to join us … the real-life Q is looking forward to meeting you, and I'm pleased to report that the real-life Q is a woman," he said, in comments reported by The Guardian.

While the next Bond film will likely be unveiled this year, lifting the long-rattling lid on whether Daniel Craig will or will not be returning as the super spy, the role of Q — which Whishaw, 36, seemingly revitalized after two performances so far — is not thought to be in question.