MI6 rounds up all the events and releases surrounding the Ian Fleming centenary celebrations this month...

Ian Fleming Centenary Diary
May 2008

1st May 2008 - Final Fling
Publication of the third and final installment in The Moneypenny Diaries trilogy by author Samantha Weinberg (writing under the pen name of Kate Westbrook). From the glamour of 1960s Jamaica to the treacherous beaches of the Outer Hebrides, Final Fling relates the thrilling adventures of the world’s most famous secretary and reveals just how far people are prepared to go to defend – or betray – their beliefs.

The Moneypenny Diaries
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12th May 2008 - RSL Lecture
The Ian Fleming Centenary Lecture at the Royal Society of Literature will take place on 7pm at the Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre, Courtauld Institute at Somerset House (pictured opposite), London. The lecture will be given by Daphne Park and will feature readings by Lucy Fleming.

The Lecture is entitled 'Licensed to kill?' and will be chaired by Alan Judd. Tickets, which are not issued in advance, are available on the door. Suggested contribution £5. Please telephone 020 7845 4676 or email [email protected] for further details


Daphne Park does not look like James Bond – in fact her beady cosiness is more reminiscent of Miss Marple – but she was the true face of British Intelligence for the second half of the twentieth century. She served in the SOE (Special Operations Executive) during the Second World War, in Moscow during the Cold War, and in Hanoi during the Vietnam conflict. She smuggled men out of the Congo in the boot of her car (not an Aston Martin, but a 2cv), and became a senior controller for MI6, before moving on to become Principal of Somerville College, Oxford. Created Baroness Park of Monmouth in 1990, she insists that intelligence work is less about glamorous derring-do than about ‘knowing human beings’. So, how real was James Bond? In a discussion to mark the centenary of the birth of Ian Fleming, interspersed with readings from his work by his niece, the actress Lucy Fleming, Lady Park talks to diplomat Alan Judd, author of the authorised life of Mansfield Cumming, founder of MI6, and of the spy novel Legacy.

18th May 2008 - Amis, Amis & Bond
Martin Amis explores his father's obsessive interest in James Bond and the writing of Ian Fleming, with fellow Bond enthusiast Charlie Higson. Forty years ago, Kingsley Amis (pictured opposite) undertook an unusual project, analysing in detail all of Ian Fleming's James Bond books and compiling a guide to being James Bond for prospective spies, based entirely on Fleming's writing.

Broadcast on BBC Radio 4 (UK) at 13:30.


24th May 2008 - Dr. No Radio Play
On Saturday 24 May, Toby Stephens and David Suchet star in the first ever full radio adaptation of Dr No, Ian Fleming's 1958 James Bond novel.

Recovering from the after-effects of his last assignment, Bond is given what appears to be an easy job on his next case. Sent to Jamaica to investigate the mysterious disappearance of two of his colleagues, Bond discovers that the heart of the mystery lies with a sinister recluse on Crab Key, Dr No. Before long Bond comes face to face with this bizarre creature and soon he is fighting for his life in a murderous game.

Broadcast on BBC Radio 4 (UK) at 14:30.

Dr No Radio Play - Preview
Radio 4 Bond Season


Starring Toby Stephens as James Bond (pictured above), David Suchet as Dr No and, John Standing as ‘M’, Janie Dee as Moneypenny, Samuel West as Pleydel-Smith, Clarke Peters as Quarrel, Lisa Dillon as Honey Rider, Martin Jarvis as the Voice of Ian Fleming. Plus star cameos from Simon Williams, Peter Capaldi, Nicky Henson with Kobna Holdbrook Smith, Kosha Engler, Jon David Yu, Jordanna Tin, Inika Leigh Wright and a special appearance by Ian Fleming’s niece Lucy Fleming as the Jamaican Institute Librarian Original music composed by Samuel Barbour and Mark Holden

24th May 2008 - The Bond Correspondence
Ian Fleming's niece, Lucy Fleming, sets out to discover more about both her uncle and the creation of his most famous character, James Bond.

Her uncle has, until now, been someone Lucy vaguely remembers from her teens. But, after she delves into dusty old boxes of letters to see the wealth of correspondence from readers and his responses, she discovers a lesser known side of Ian.

She goes inside the old Naval Intelligence Unit where her uncle worked in the Second World War, visits his wartime girlfriend Joan Bright Astley, and stepdaughter Fionn Morgan, and, in doing so, brings to life ghosts from the past.

Broadcast on BBC Radio 4 (UK) at 10:30.

Radio 4 Bond Season


26th May 2008 - James Bond, The Last Englishman
Professor David Cannadine argues that the Bond novels are a fantastic response to the moment when Britain lost an Empire but was still struggling to find a role in the new world. In James Bond, The Last Englishman, Professor Cannadine claims that Fleming's Bond novels have played a key role in shaping England's national self-image. For Cannadine, Bond is the consolatory fantasy of Fleming, the nostalgic conservative appalled by Britain's collapse as a great power.

Broadcast on BBC Radio 4 (UK) at 20:00.

28th May 2008 - Devil May Care
Sebastian Faulks, one of Britain’s most admired novelists, is the author of a brand new James Bond novel, to be published by Penguin Books in the UK and Doubleday in the US. The book, entitled Devil May Care, will be published to mark the centenary of Ian Fleming’s birth - 28th May 2008.

Bond is back with a license to thrill. Forty-three years ago, Ian Fleming wrote his last great 007 adventure. Now, in Devil May Care, the world’s most iconic spy returns in a Cold War story spanning the world’s exotic locations. By invitation of the Fleming estate to mark the centenary of his birth, acclaimed novelist Sebastian Faulks picks up where Fleming left off, writing a tour de force that will electrify every James Bond fan. A fitting tribute to the Bond tradition, Devil May Care stands on its own as a triumph of witty prose and plenty of double-0 action.

Devil May Care - Coverage
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28th May 2008 - Hurricane Gold
Charlie Higson's fourth Young Bond outing "Hurricane Gold" is published in paperback following its golden hardback debut earlier this year.

Hurricane Gold is the fourth and latest of the massively successful Young Bond adventures and will be published in the UK in paperback by Puffin.

As the sun blazes over the Caribbean island of Lagrimas Negras, its bloodthirsty ruler is watching and waiting. Criminals come here to hide, with blood on their hands and escape on their minds. On the mainland, in the quiet town of Tres Hermanas, ex-flying ace Jack Stone leaves his son and daughter in the company of James Bond. But a gang of thieves lies in ambush – they want Stone's precious safe, and will kill for its contents. James embarks on a deadly chase through the Mexican jungle. On this terrifying trail of greed and betrayal, only danger is guaranteed ... Survival is not.

Hurricane Gold - Coverage
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29th May 2008 - Ian Fleming Reissues
Ian Fleming's series of James Bond novels will be republished in hardback. To coincide with the Ian Fleming centenary, all 14 novels will be re-released in hardback under the Penguin 007 imprint.

The covers are by artist Michael Gillette. Originally from Wales but now based in San Francisco, USA, Gillette has worked for some of the world's biggest clients including Capitol Records, Greenpeace, Levi and MTV. Of his latest work for Bond, Gillette wrote on his blog, "Ahh the The 60's. When I was a kid, I thought this was what illustration was all about - setting the type and drawing the images for books."

Ian Fleming Hardback Reissues


29th May 2008 - Quantum of Solace
With no movie novelization planned for the 2008 James Bond film "Quantum of Solace", Ian Fleming Publications are moving ahead with a "complete collection" of Ian Fleming's short stories. To cash in on the movie, the title of the collection will be taken from one of the included stories...Quantum of Solace. Penguin Modern Classics, who reissued Fleming's novels in two waves in 2004 and 2006, will publish the collection in paperback for £8.99 in the UK and $15.00 in the USA. It will be released on May 29th 2008 in the UK along with the reissue of 14 Ian Fleming novels in hardback, a day after the Ian Fleming centenary. US readers will have to wait until August 26th 2008.

Stories will include "From A View To A Kill", "For Your Eyes Only", "Quantum of Solace", "Risico", "The Hildebrand Rarity", "Octopussy", "The Property of a Lady", " The Living Daylights", and "007 in New York"

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