MI6 reports from "The Story of James Bond - A Tribute to Ian Fleming" event that took place on Sunday 5th October...

A Tribute To Ian Fleming
10th October 2008

"The Story of James Bond - A Tribute to Ian Fleming" took place at the London Palladium last weekend, on Sunday 5th October and proved to be the highlight and grand finale to the successful Fleming centenary year. Stars and celebrities joined together in a celebration of the life and writing of Ian Fleming and his legacy to the world - James Bond. The event was in aid of the British Heart Foundation.

The evening kicked off with James Bond actors Sir Roger Moore and Daniel Craig arriving to the delight of paparazzi and fans gathered outside the theatre's entrance. The curtain was raised at 7:30pm to the infamous James Bond theme played by a 60-piece orchestra.

Lucy Fleming introduced the hosts of the evening, Stephen Fry and former Bond girl Joanna Lumley, who sat just in front of the orchestra. To the left of centre stage Jeremy Irons read passages playing Fleming himself, and to the right former Bond villain Toby Stephens played 007 reading extracts from the literary adventures. A large screen displayed stills of Fleming, artwork, posters, and scenes from the films.


Above: Cover of the event programme, signed by 'Devil May Care' author Sebastian Faulks.

Above: 007's Sir Roger Moore and Daniel Craig (with Satsuki Mitchell) arrive at the event.

As well as the orchestra covering Bond music and, songs were performed by Beverly Knight (Licence To Kill), Tony Hadley (Thunderball), Mica Paris, Lemar and Lee Mead. Cast members from the West End production of 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' also performed. Title song artists Duran Duran (A View To A Kill) and Sir Paul McCartney (Live And Let Die) sent video messages.

Above (Left): The orchestra start the evening with a recital of James Bond theme.
Above (Right): Beverly Knight performs the title song from "Licence To Kill".

There were readings from readings from Samantha Bond, Christopher Casenove, Joely Richardson, Harriet Walter, Gemma Arterton and Rosamund Pike. Sebastian Faulks, author of the continuation novel "Devil May Care", read a passage from "Diamonds Are Forever". Young Bond author Charlie Higson recounted the times before Bond hit the big screen in 1962's "Dr No".

Above: Sir Roger Moore is flanked by Bond girls. Left to right: Maryam D'Abo, Madeleine Smith, Shirley Eaton, Zena Marshall, Eunice Gayson, Tania Mallett, Caroline Munro and Joanna Lumley.

Sir Roger Moore was joined on stage by eight Bond girls: Maryam D'Abo, Madeleine Smith, Shirley Eaton, Zena Marshall, Eunice Gayson, Tania Mallett, Caroline Munro and Joanna Lumley. A Sean Connery lookalike was quickly bundled off the stage by a Royale Marine Commando who abseiled from the roof. Moore gave a speech about Albert R. Broccoli and then introduced the current producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson.

Attendees were treated with a scene from the new film "Quantum of Solace" before Daniel Craig came on stage to rapturous applause to read the eulogy from Fleming's funeral.

Above: Hosts Stephen Fry and Joanna Lumley (left), Lucy Fleming starts the proceedings (right).

Dom Perignon paid tribute to the iconic author as the official and exclusive champagne partner of the private After Show Party. A glittering host of stars attended the after show party, including: Sir Roger Moore, Gemma Arterton, Rosamund Pike, Jeremy Irons, Mica Paris, Samantha Bond, Stephen Fry, Joanna Lumley, Lesley Manville, Toby Stephens, Jo Gibb, Laura Michelle Kelly and Joely Richardson.

Above: Jeremy Irons reads as Ian Fleming (left), Laura Michelle Kelly (right).