To mark James Bond’s 50th anniversary and today’s opening at the Barbican of ‘Designing 007’, here’s some tremendous trivia about our favourite spy
Blockbuster films, Blockbusters TV show
Bob Holness of Blockbusters fame was the first person to play James Bond – on BBC radio.
I Roald you so
Roald Dahl wrote the screenplay for You Only Live Twice.
Blofeld is named after cricket commentator Henry Blofeld. Fleming was a member of the same members’ club as Henry and his family. The author allegedly looked through the members’ register to find a name for his villain and picked Blofeld.
License to booze
According to AskMen.com: “In the Bond films up to Casino Royale, Bond is seen to consume 114 drinks — the equivalent of one every 24.3 minutes. Interestingly enough, he drinks champagne more than anything (35 glasses) and only enjoys one beer. In the Bond novels, he drinks a total of 317 alcoholic drinks — one every seven pages, on average”.
I and I and Goldeneye
Goldeneye is the name of Ian Fleming’s house in Jamaica – but the house came before the novels. Fleming was originally a journalist and took a job at the Sunday Times only on the condition he could take two months out each year – when he would stay in Jamaica and write the books.
All those birds
Ian Fleming named James Bond after the author of a book about Caribbean birds on his bookshelf – one US ornithologist Dr James Bond.
Roger Moore, a big cigar fan, decided Bond should smoke cigars rather than cigarettes. This was in part to create a different look and feel from Sean Connery’s Bond, but also because it meant Moore got a clause in his contract providing with him an unlimited number of cigars. Apparently the final bill ran into the thousands.
Bond the boy
Bond is an orphan and went to Eton as a boy. He started his career in the navy and became a Commander before becoming a spy.
The James Bond films are the biggest ever film franchise by number of films, but third in gross, behind Harry Potter and Star Wars.
Down under blunder
George Lazenby, the often-forgotten Bond, apparently had an Australian accent so thick he had to be dubbed over by an English actor in many scenes.
Ian Fleming wanted David Niven to play Bond, but the Broccolis said no.
Many lives but just two wives
Many people believe Bond only married once. Actually, he was married first to the love of his life, Teresa, who Blofeld killed minutes after they married. He then married Japanese woman Kissy in You Only Live Twice. There was a third wife, but she only exists in John Gardner’s Bond books, not in Ian Fleming’s nor in the films.
Join the Q
Q’s name is not just a random letter, but stands for “Quartermaster”.
With special thanks to Nick Bruce and Pete Gardiner for their 007 expertise.