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...information from TV Times 1963
"John Steed, 38, is a man of many faces. In the course of inquiries I discovered that some people believe him to be a ruthless adventurer. Others know the second face of Steed - the charming man abou town - with a taste for Edwardian elegance in his clothes...jackets with cuffed sleeves and patent leather, Chelsea-style boots. But the police say they have found a third face.The face of John Steed-murderer. They claim behind the shrubbery on the river bank and shot attractive widow Mrs. Catherine Gale as she stood on the deck in her cabin cruiser.[...]
So this is what I have discovered about his background. He had all the advantages of being the younger son, the scion of a noble family. But he is the black sheep of the family. He was sent to Eton, but spent most of the time in amateur theatricals -“the first step along the road of deceit,“ said the prosecutor. He left Eton short before war broke out and had a fine war record. It was distinguished by the fact that, as a lieutenant in the Royal Navy, he commanded a motor torpedo boat. Information abou his career after the war is rather sketchy. But I know that after 1945 he was running a ex-naval launch in and around the Eastern Mediterranean portsa time when cigarette trafficking was in full swing.Later he turned up in London and, to some extent re-established himself with his family by taking a respectable job with the Civil Service. Shortly afterwards he reappeared in the Middle East as a economic adviser to Sheikh al Akbar Ben Sidi Ben Becula, ruler of the oil-rich state of Kurim. While he was there the Sheik became involved in a quarrel with two neighbouring states. Some people say this nearly started World War III. Others say it averted it. Any way, the Sheikh is now richer by an extra £75,000 a day in oil royalities and Steed returned to England with an award from the Sheikh, the Order of the Golden Ram (second class) and life royalities from two of the oil wells. From this income he lived the life from which he had accustomed himself - rare wines, fany waistcoats, pretty girls and polo. About the time he is said to have done some work for the State. But no official record exists of such work.[...]"

TV Times, no.412, 20-September.1963, page 4
Inside The Avengers - „Brief for Murder“ from „Crime reporter“

Series 3 premiered in the UK on Saturday 28th September 1963 with episode "Brief for Murder"
The article below was published on this occasion and contained a fictional biography of John Steed.
Front cover of TV Times, no.412, 20-September.1963
John Steed's Biography