Favourite Bond Film:
Such a tough opening question. I certainly have my favourite one from each of the actors, but I’m going to cheat a little and give you two answers. If we’re talking the swinging sixties, then for me it simply has to be the splendour that is On Her Majesties Secret Service. It’s epic throughout, very faithful to the Fleming original, and those ski sequences still thrill me today. Love it.
If we’re talking modern day, then I’d plump for Casino Royale. Superb performances from a stellar cast, and such a magnificently strong opener for Daniel that it is proving difficult to top.
Favourite Bond Book:
This used to be From Russia With Love, but having re-read them recently I would opt for Moonraker. It’s a straight forward back to basics story but Fleming’s descriptions are superb throughout.
I also have a soft spot for the first Bond novel I read, but oddly is Fleming’s last to be published in his lifetime, You Only Live Twice. The travelogue descriptions of Japan and the garden of death are captivating & exotic and certainly awoke my interest of the literary bond back in the day.
From a non fiction angle, Raymond Bensons 007 bible ‘The James Bond Bedside Companion’ was always high up my list too. A definitive guide.
Favourite Bond Girl:
There’s been so many stunningly beautiful, sexy and highly capable Bond Girls over the years that again this is tough old question, but I think Casino Royale’s Eva Green as Vesper Lynd takes some beating for the top spot for me, with an honorary mention to Mrs Bond herself, Tracy as played by Diana Rigg.
Favourite Bond Actor:
It all started with Sir Sean, and for that reason he’s in quite a unique position on his own when it comes to this league of extraordinary gentleman, however, judging them individually, I would have to go for my personal favourite interpretation of the character. Some even might say, the connoisseurs choice, and for me, that would be Timothy Dalton.
Tim’s darker more ruthless performance took me from casual fan to die hard fan in just one film, and that in essence, says it all.
Earliest Bond Memory:
Like so many of us, ‘Bond on the box’ was where it all started. I remember seeing Goldfinger & Thunderball when I was definitely too young to watch them in 1976/77 when they were first broadcast on British TV.
However, later that summer when my Dad took me to see the newly released film ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’ did my interest surge hugely.
The henchman with the steel teeth, the underwater car, a supertanker that swallows submarines, it was just too much for this 7 year old. I was instantly & obsessionally hooked.
Location you’d love to visit:
I’ve been fortunate to have visited many of the places Bond has, and this has become somewhat of a pilgrimage in the last few years including visiting Piz Gloria in Switzerland, but there’s a couple of other ‘holy grail’ locations I’ve yet to frequent.
The first is James Bond Island near Phuket in Thailand which features as Scaramanga’s lair in ‘The Man With The Golden Gun’
The second, would be where Bond began. Ian Fleming’s tranquil home in Jamaica, ‘Goldeneye’
Favourite scene in the series:
The very first time we see Connery as Bond in Dr No is at ‘Les Ambassadeurs’ in London. I simply love this exchange.
‘I admire your courage Miss…’
‘Trench, Sylvia Trench. I admire your luck Mr?’
‘Bond. James Bond.
Most Bondian thing I’ve ever done:
I’m a bit of an adrenaline junkie, and have ticked a few Bondian pursuits off my list, such as parachuting, flying an aircraft & scuba diving in the Bahamas around the sites used in Thunderball & Never Say Never Again no less, but perhaps my most memorable is a group JBR experience of re-creating Pierce’s entry in the series in Goldeneye with a 720ft bungee jump off the Versasca Dam in Switzerland. It was truly epic, and I’d do it again in a heartbeat!
If Ian Fleming hadn’t attended a naval conference in Jamaica back in 1943, would anyone other than a handful of birding experts know the name