He is probably best known for his mysterious ability to bend cutlery. But for the past thirty years Uri Geller has been leading a covert life as a psychic spy across three continents.

Now for the first time the Israeli-born magician’s secret life is uncovered in a BBC documentary, with Geller and those who know and worked closely with him shedding light on this incredible double life.

The Secret Life of Uri Geller

“The outer in-built safety device is that I am a showman, I am in entertainment”

It was while flaunting his talents playing the bustling Tel Aviv nightclubs that Israeli officials took note of his extraordinary capabilities.

Sent to give a lecture to the Mossad, they then informed the CIA, who commissioned a five-week investigation to assess whether Uri’s abilities were real and could be of use to intelligence agencies.

“I was asked to spy on the Russian Embassy in Mexico City,” he admits. “Every so often a diplomatic pouch with floppy discs left the building chained to the arm of a Russian agent and I was asked to erase the contents of the discs, which I said I could.

“I was living a James Bond life, I was living the movies. Wow, I was doing something for the CIA.”

But now reflecting from his palatial home on the banks of the Thames, it quickly becomes evident that this is not an entirely candid tale. Much like his cutlery bending phenomenon, it begs more questions than it answers.

While Uri – who counts Benjamin Netanyahu as a friend – does discuss his time as a federal agent for the Mexican Treasury, his links with the CIA and the role he played during Operation Entebbe, he has resolved to stop short of the whole truth.

“The outer in-built safety device is that I am a showman, I am in entertainment,” he explains. “Think of that. But there is this other side to Uri Geller and I love that side and that side is the dark side that you see in spy movies. I love the mystery around it. It is what made me.

“So I will always make sure that the final truth is never known.”

Whatever really happened during his years as a spy, this nevertheless makes for the fascinating story of the man with a phenomenal gift.

The Secret Life of Uri Geller is on Sunday, 21 July, 9pm, BBC2.