For Your Ears Only

Sir Roger Moore will tell tales from his life and career in his new show at the Theatre Royal this month and Daniel White caught up with the longest serving 007 to see what it’s all about

Tell us about the show, An Evening with Sir Roger Moore…
When Gregory Peck slowed down a little on making movies he told me he took his ‘pony and trap’ on the road and he greatly enjoyed visiting theatres and talking to an audience, and more importantly having their interaction.

And that’s really what I’m doing – I’m boring the audience rigid with tales of my life and career, and if any of them are still awake at the end they have a chance to ask me a question – such as “can we go now please?”

Is there anything you don’t want to talk about during the show?
No, I’ll quite willingly talk about anything and everything.

Are there any inside stories from the acting industry that you can let us in on?
Yes there are, but you’ll have to come to the theatre to hear all those!

What is your favourite memory of Brighton?
Oh I have many memories of Brighton! Taking the Brighton Belle was always a treat as you could have a meal on board; I wish I could do that this time round.

Who influenced you to begin acting and which actors inspire you today?
I’ve never claimed to have “acted”.

However my early cinematic heroes were Stewart Granger and David Niven. I remember, when it was suggested I might go to RADA, racing home and saying to my mother “I’m going to be Stewart Granger!”  Happily I got to know both him and Niven later on, and worked with them.

Of the actors who inspire me today I’d say Ewan McGregor and Ralph Fiennes are up there, as is Johnny Depp.

What are your favourite James Bond films with and without you in?
The one I was in – The Spy Who Loved Me. It was a terrific story, a wonderful director in Lewis Gilbert, and we had Jaws, the Lotus and breath taking locations.

The one I wasn’t in – Diamonds Are Forever. It was great fun to watch and Sean had some terrific lines such as to Lana Wood saying ‘Hi I’m Plenty, Plenty O’Toole’ …. ‘Named after your father no doubt.’

What is it about the James Bond franchise that keeps people hooked?
The producers never cheat the audience. They deliver everything we have come to expect on the big screen – action, adventure, gadgets, girls – and the films move with the times and audience tastes keeping them fresh and appropriate.

What is your favourite line from the Bond films you starred in?
In The Man With The Golden Gun when interrogating a gun maker I say, as I point a rifle at his groin, ‘Speak now or forever hold your piece.’

Who was the best Bond Girl to work with?
I don’t have favourites I’m afraid. Though Maud Adams did make two with me.

Does being James Bond ever get boring?
No. It’s a wonderful opportunity, and fewer men have played 007 than have walked on the moon. I’ll always be grateful for Jimmy Bond being in my life.


What has been the highlight of your acting career?
Getting paid on Fridays.

There was one film I was allowed to really act in – The Man Who Haunted Himself. It’s a film I am very proud of.

How did you start your work with UNICEF and how important is it to you?
Audrey Hepburn called me and asked if I’d co-present the Danny Kaye International Children’s Awards. I said ‘of course’ (you don’t say no to Audrey Hepburn). She asked me to attend a press conference beforehand, and it was then I witnessed Audrey’s passion for UNICEF and for children. I became hooked.

Without doubt it is the most important work I’ve ever done and UNICEF is very close to my heart.

What does the future hold for Sir Roger Moore? Both in acting and your tours as well as your UNICEF work?
I’m very grateful for my lot in life and hugely enjoy what I am doing now. I wouldn’t mind a few more years and one or two more paying jobs to see me out.

I’d also like to think one day UNICEF will not be needed. To think no children would needlessly suffer or die would be my nirvana.