Simon Russell Beale will always be my favourite George Smiley and Maggie Steed my favourite Connie -Book 8. Audiobooks. Simon Russell Beale stars in this BBC Radio full-cast dramatisation of John le Carré's last Smiley novel. George Smiley is one of the most brilliantly realised characters in British fiction. Bespectacled, tubby, eternally middle-aged and deceptively ordinary, he has a mind like a steel trap and is said to possess 'the cunning of Satan and the conscience of a virgin'.