I had to pick a side, George. And the West has become so very ugly...
~ Haydon explaining himself to George

Bill Haydon (a.k.a Tailor) is the main antagonist in the 2011 Cold War - espionage film Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

He was portrayed by Academy Award winning actor, Colin Firth, who also portrayed Geoffery Thwaites in St. Trinians, Lord Henry Wotton in the film adaptation of The Picture of Dorian Gray, and William Weatherall Wilkins in Mary Poppins Returns.


In October 1973, "Control", head of British intelligence (referred to as "The Circus"), sends agent Jim Prideaux to Budapest to meet a Hungarian general wishing to defect. Prideaux is shot and presumed killed. Amidst the international incident that follows, Control and his right-hand man George Smiley are forced into retirement; Control dies of illness shortly after.

Percy Alleline becomes the new Chief, Bill Haydon his deputy and Roy Bland and Toby Esterhase as lieutenants. Despite Control and Smiley's misgivings, their successors have already begun a secret operation called "Witchcraft" to obtain highly sensitive information from the Soviet Union, which is in turn being traded with the CIA for American intelligence. Smiley is brought out of retirement by Cabinet Office civil servant Oliver Lacon to investigate a claim by Ricki Tarr, a British spy, that for years there has been a mole in a senior role in the Circus, as Control had suspected. Smiley chooses a trustworthy agent, Peter Guillam, and retired Special Branch officer Mendel to help him. He interviews former Circus analyst Connie Sachs, who was sacked by Alleline after deducing that Alexei Polyakov, a Soviet cultural attaché in London, was a spy but Alleline fired her alleging that she had developed a very suspicious mind and needed to retire.
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Haydon and Prideaux

During the film it is revealed that Haydon and Prideaux where close friends and that Haydon was the first to react when the Budapest desaster happpened, taking care of the situation when Control couldn't. And also that Haydon was having an affair with Smiley's ex-wife.

Tarr tells Smiley that on a mission to Istanbul, he had an affair with Irina, a Soviet agent. She wanted to reveal the name of a mole in the top ranks of the Circus but when Tarr reported this to London, they ignored him and ordered him straight home, while the Soviets promptly kidnapped Irina. Concluding that the mole had intercepted his message, then Smiley and Guilliam confirm this by stealing the Circus logbook and find out pages have been cut out.

Smiley interviews Prideaux, who reveals that after brutal interrogation, he was exchanged by the Soviets but sacked from the service. Prideaux says the purpose of the mission to Hungary was to get the name of the mole. Control had codenamed the suspects "Tinker" (Alleline), "Tailor" (Haydon), "Soldier" (Bland), "Poorman" (Esterhase) and "Beggarman" (Smiley), then it is revealed that Alleline, Haydon, Bland and Esterhase have been meeting Polyakov (the "Witchcraft" source) at a safe house somewhere in London, where Polyakov gives them supposedly high-grade Soviet intelligence, in exchange for low-grade British material to help him maintain his cover with the Soviets. However, the mole is passing substantive material, including US intelligence, to Polyakov, his handler, whilst Polyakov's material has just enough substance to persuade the CIA to share information with the British.

Smiley, Mendel and Guilliam kidnap Esterhase and blackmail the location of the safehouse, where they then find Tinker, Tailor and Soldier, then when the mole meets with Polyakov, Smiley captures him and it is revealed to be Haydon.


Haydon's last moments

Alleline, Bland and Esterhase are fired and The Circus plans to exchange Haydon with the Soviets but he is killed by Prideaux, who felt betrayed by him in the Budapest incident. Smiley returns to the Circus as its new chief.

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