Roger Moore – hiding from Blofeld

As Cats may know, Roger Moore died a couple of days ago.  He was not the best James Bond (Daniel Craig IMO) or the worst (Timothy Dalton IMO).  But he still was Bond.

Below is a personal story from Marc Haynes recounting his encounters with Moore.  Wonderful read.

As an seven year old in about 1983, in the days before First Class Lounges at airports, I was with my grandad in Nice Airport and saw Roger Moore sitting at the departure gate, reading a paper. I told my granddad I’d just seen James Bond and asked if we could go over so I could get his autograph. My grandad had no idea who James Bond or Roger Moore were, so we walked over and he popped me in front of Roger Moore, with the words “my grandson says you’re famous. Can you sign this?”

As charming as you’d expect, Roger asks my name and duly signs the back of my plane ticket, a fulsome note full of best wishes. I’m ecstatic, but as we head back to our seats, I glance down at the signature. It’s hard to decipher it but it definitely doesn’t say ‘James Bond’. My grandad looks at it, half figures out it says ‘Roger Moore’ – I have absolutely no idea who that is, and my hearts sinks. I tell my grandad he’s signed it wrong, that he’s put someone else’s name – so my grandad heads back to Roger Moore, holding the ticket which he’s only just signed.

I remember staying by our seats and my grandad saying “he says you’ve signed the wrong name. He says your name is James Bond.” Roger Moore’s face crinkled up with realisation and he beckoned me over. When I was by his knee, he leant over, looked from side to side, raised an eyebrow and in a hushed voice said to me, “I have to sign my name as ‘Roger Moore’ because otherwise…Blofeld might find out I was here.” He asked me not to tell anyone that I’d just seen James Bond, and he thanked me for keeping his secret. I went back to our seats, my nerves absolutely jangling with delight. My grandad asked me if he’d signed ‘James Bond.’ No, I said. I’d got it wrong. I was working with James Bond now.

Many, many years later, I was working as a scriptwriter on a recording that involved UNICEF, and Roger Moore was doing a piece to camera as an ambassador. He was completely lovely and while the cameramen were setting up, I told him in passing the story of when I met him in Nice Airport. He was happy to hear it, and he had a chuckle and said “Well, I don’t remember but I’m glad you got to meet James Bond.” So that was lovely.

And then he did something so brilliant. After the filming, he walked past me in the corridor, heading out to his car – but as he got level, he paused, looked both ways, raised an eyebrow and in a hushed voice said, “Of course I remember our meeting in Nice. But I didn’t say anything in there, because those cameramen – any one of them could be working for Blofeld.”

I was as delighted at 30 as I had been at 7. What a man. What a tremendous man.

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24 Responses to Roger Moore – hiding from Blofeld

  1. C.L.

    He really was a lovely man.
    By the way, Ace has views on the traditional downgrading of Moore’s Bond:

    Google Roger Moore, Gentleman and Knight, RIP

    Snippet:

    People say that Connery was “serious” and realistically thuggish Bond, and Moore was a “silly” Bond without the realism of Connery’s thuggishness, but that conveniently forgets the wild silliness of Connery’s three last Bond movies (Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, and the very silly indeed Diamonds Are Forever), and also overlooks some of the parts of the first three Moore films, and the fifth, For Your Eyes Only, which were occasionally more grounded, and where Moore’s Bond often vied with Connery’s Bond in the Total Bastard Sweepstakes.

  2. Roger

    For me Roger Moore will always be Simon Templar.

    Never quite got used to him as Bond.

  3. Indolent

    For me he will always by Cousin Beau in Maverick.

    Believe it or not, one of my uncles bore a striking resemblance to him. A very handsome man.

  4. Fleeced

    The new Bond movies are boring. Can’t sit through them.

  5. Carpe Jugulum

    That was a terrific anecdote, put smile on my face.

  6. Mother Lode

    I grew to teenager-hood at the beginning of Moore’s tenure as Bond. Fascinating at the time – all the gadgets, daring escapes, and Bond hotties.

    They haven’t aged well, but they were products of their time. But as someone wrote the other day, he played bond as if we were all in on it.

    I never liked Connery as much. I don’t mind Daniel Craig, and think he would be better if they weren’t deliberately making the stories as dark.

    David Niven was great.

    Anyway, we will always have Brett Sinclair.

  7. John64

    A wonderful anecdote.

    Roger Moore might not have been the best Bond but he certainly had the best name of any Bond.

  8. Wal of Ipswich

    A later T.V. role of Sir Roger was that of Lord Brett Sinclair, in the Persuaders. I often used, with nil success, his pick up line “my name is Brett but you can call me darling”. That, and his eyebrows, sum up this marvellous man.

  9. Mother Lode

    he certainly had the best name of any Bond

    Indeed. Probably the most of any Bond.

  10. Daniel Craig looks like an extra who got halfway through the make up phase of Planet of the Apes, and bailed before they stuck the hair on.

  11. Dave in Marybrook

    Having chewed through a lot of Ian Fleming- the second-hand bookshop was vital, TV and video was nonexistent- Timothy Dalton was the best Bond for the big screen. Lean, cruel, even a bit untrustworthy, and thankfully scripted with Fleming-esque storylines where 007 flirted with dereliction of duty.

  12. Old School Conservative

    At least Sir Roger had an accent all we wanna be Bonds could copy. The great Connery was harder to emulate.

  13. Pedro the Ignorant

    That was a terrific anecdote, put smile on my face.

    from Carpe.

    Me too, Great story.

    God knows we need a smile or two after recent events.

  14. Diogenes

    For me he will always be Ivanhoe or Brett Sinclair

  15. Nice story.
    I too liked Moore in The Persuaders with his perfectly cast sidekick Tony Curtis

  16. entropy

    Actually I thought Dalton was better than Moore. Although that might have more to do with the scripts. To claim Dalton was not as good as Moore would ignore any comparison, of say, Moonraker with The Living Daylights.

    But my all time favourite was Connery in From Russia with Love and Thunderball.

  17. entropy

    And what about View to a Kill? awful. A geriatric Bond.

  18. Tintarella di Luna

    I remember Roger Moore as Ivanhoe but my favourite was Simon Templar – the Saint

  19. Catfeesh?

    I have trouble coming up with ‘the best Bond’ and deciding which was better or worse. I like them all in different ways. Moore was suave and certainly got plenty – how about using a magnet to disrobe a busty maiden hiding in the closet from M – genius. Dalton was dark and brooding, didn’t mind that aspect. Quite liked Pierce in some respects. Obviously the cinematography of the recent ones is better and more complex but the main problem I have with the Daniel Craig Bond movies is the lack of disrespect to women. Bond is meant to be smooth and seductive and not care about the feminine wreckage that he leaves in his wake, yet now he is all lovey-dovey. It’s just wrong.

  20. notaluvvie

    Roger Moore was obviously a much more polite man than the pushy rude grandfather in the story.

  21. AlanR

    Now THAT was lovely. Thank you for sharing it.

  22. Chris M

    Is Daniel Craig the recent one, the guy who has a single permanent expression?

  23. David Tanner

    I always thought he made a better Simon Templar than James Bond. Too suave for the latter.

  24. Thanks for that, a great little story to bring a smile amid all the gloom. 🙂

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