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A fan reports from BAFTA's Sir Ken Adam tribute

07-Apr-2011 • Event

On Monday 4th April 2011 a crowd of filmmakers and fans gathered in London to pay homage to production designer, Sir Ken Adam. An MI6 reader, John Hudson, shares his experiences from the evening:

I was lucky enough to attend the tribute event at the Royal Institute of British Architects in London.

It was great to see Sir Ken honoured in this way. And inevitably there was a distinctly "Bondian" vibe about the place. Things kicked off with a champagne reception (Tattinger being the tipple of choice for the evening), where I found myself standing next to the lovely Valerie Leon.

When we moved into the auditorium, people just sat where they pleased apart from the first four rows which were reserved for EON and certain centre aisle seats where the evenings speakers were conveniently positioned - it was all very relaxed.

Those waxing lyrical about the extraordinary achievements of Sir Ken included Lewis Gilbert (physically rather frail but very witty and charming), Michael G. Wilson, Peter Lamont and the original Bond Girl herself, Eunice Gayson who read out a typically amusing missive from Sir Roger Moore who was unable to attend due to injuring himself on set (not seriously, thankfully) a few weeks ago. (Michael Caine also sent his apologies.) Also in attendance were fellow Bond Girls Shirley Eaton and Caroline Munro plus Barbara Broccoli, lyricist Don Black and David Arnold. (I think I spotted Monty Norman at a distance but I can't be sure.)

The tributes and anecdotes were interspersed with film clips of Sir Ken's stunning sets and recorded messages from friends and admirers unable to attend. All in all it was a wonderful evening, climaxing with Sir Ken receiving a special BAFTA award. He is clearly a much loved human being as well as one of the greatest geniuses in the history of the cinema.

Afterwards I chatted to David Arnold for a few minutes. He was really nice and very down to earth. When I told him that I sincerely hoped he would be writing the title song for 'Bond 23' after the horror of 'Another Way To Die' he said he had no idea as yet as to what would be happening on that front and that he was currently very busy working on the music for the 2012 Olympics.

I then spoke to American film director Nicholas Meyer (who gave probably the wittiest speech of the evening), telling him how much I adored his masterpiece 'Time After Time'. I then went up to Barbara Broccoli. What an enchanting lady! I was knocked out by how warm and friendly she is. I gushed about what a fantastic job she and Michael are doing with the series now that Daniel is on board and told her that I was looking forward to 'Bond 23' like "the third coming" - which made her laugh. You'd never guess she was a high-powered movie producer. Oh, and she's even prettier in the flesh than on TV!

Finally I spoke to the key speaker of the evening, Sir Christopher Frayling - who has written two books with Sir Ken and who I saw last year introducing Ennio Morricone at the Royal Albert Hall. Another really nice guy.

I'm so glad that I attended this very special event honouring a very special man. Happy 90th birthday, Sir Ken!

Many thanks to John Hudson.

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