Saturday 27 June 1987

…Went shopping.
I bought Whizzer and Chips, two second-hand books about 007,
a little hedgehog pencil sharpener and rubber and nothing else.
Mum forgot to record the first 10 minutes of last night’s Week Ending on Radio 4,
so I had to record it myself again this evening…

Having long (and foolishly) given up on Ian Fleming’s originals, I was now hungry for any and every Bond spin-off and tie-in I could find. Today’s purchases did not disappoint:

"When I come back I'll expect to find you in bed"

Christopher Wood’s novelisation of his own script is shamelessly thrilling and laughably overwrought. It includes and expands on all the main bits of the film, which is what the 11-year-old me desperately wanted. But even back then I found Wood’s attempts at doing love scenes both hilarious and more than a little cringing:

“…The girl looked down at the innocent swelling of her breasts. Was it obvious? Could anybody tell at a glance that she had been making love, wild, beautiful love?…”

“…Bond’s nostrils flared. ‘I think you know the kind of treatment I need. I’m going to shave. When I come back I’ll expect to find you in bed’…”

“…She looked into his eyes half apologetically. ‘James, you are not the first man that has made love to me.’ Bond’s hard, naked body moved towards the bed and his fingers closed around the sheet. ‘My darling,’ he said. ‘That remains to be seen.’ He came down on her like a hawk….”

Roger Moore’s “diary” of the making of Live and Let Die, meanwhile, is a literary classic. In character throughout – the character of “Roger Moore”, that is – our man treats his work on the new “Jimmy Bond movie” as a sort of colonial grand tour, where locals and luvvies alike are all wonderful and only the threat of kidney stones can colour the mood:

“Five and thirteen hundred ferocious crocodiles made B-Day 47 a day to remember… Around 20 of us gathered round a grand piano on the open patio and sang our way through a two hour repertoire from Moonlight in Vermont to a bouncing Blame it on the Bossa Nova… Gloria and I got busy. I will not bore you with the details except to say that she put her heart, body and soul into her work…”

If only he’d done one of these for each of his Bond films. “B-Day 59, and I suggested Desmond drop in a line about ‘attempting re-entry’. Everyone fell about…”

"An unholy, all-action and sometimes all-embracing alliance"

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