James Bond 007. He’s the greatest movie hero of all time: a fighter, a lover, a raconteur, a sportsman, a connoisseur of the finer things in life, and a style icon. Women want to be with him, men want to be him, and villains want to watch him die in ludicrous fashion. And he does it all on Her Majesty’s Service, which means the taxpayer foots the bill.
All of Bond’s: Martinis, crashes and explosions, damage to government property and no doubt many paternity suits will probably add up, over the course of the fifty-odd years he’s been saving the world on our behalf, to Britain’s annual GDP. We might like to imagine ourselves living his life, but few of us could actually afford it even if the opportunity presented itself.
But for those of us who will always toss their hat onto the stand from a distance when they walk into a room, make a point of flirting with the boss’s secretary, or wish sometimes their car had an ejector seat when their passenger is irksome, it is possible to experience the defining parts of Bond’s lifestyle on a budget. Here are a few ideas:
The cars – The man loves his cars. From Goldfinger’s Aston Martin DB5 to the AMC Hornet in the Man with the Golden Gun, stunts, hidden weaponry and car-chases have always played a pivotal role in the films. Of course for most of us the idea of driving, let alone utterly destroying, cars of this value is beyond consideration. But if you have a bit of cash to spend, why not hire a sleek sports car to spend the weekend cruising through the twists and turns of the Alps or along the Cote d’Azur? Or just round a track if you can’t be bothered going that far.
The clothes – Style is everything with Bond. Connery’s classic tuxedo / wetsuit combination, Brosnan’s tailored suits, Daniel Craig’s swimming-trunks, even the slight misjudgements of Moore’s safari suit in Octopussy or Lazenby’s frilly dress-shirt in OHMSS are all pulled off with a grand panache. If your tailor is unwilling to accept credit or you prefer not to splurge your entire salary on your wardrobe, try the high street for budget variations on Bond’s outfits. From a distance, with a smart haircut and a bulge beneath your armpit where the Walther-PPK usually rests, it might just work!
The gadgets – Naturally Bond could never save the world so often without support. The Q branch of MI6 is indispensable, providing 007 with weapons and technologies including magnetic watches, tracking devices hidden within shoes, and mini-helicopters for spying on remote volcanic hideaways. Do you know any local inventors you can work with, who will also be content as the butt of your frequent witty asides? If not, try nipping down to Currys and see if they will let you put their newest devices through a rigorous field-test. Give them your most charming raised eyebrow.
The boats – Like his creator Ian Fleming, Bond’s background is within Naval Intelligence. He holds the rank of Commander, which is why whenever he gets on a ship or submarine in the films, you’ll always notice a spot of deference in the officers when they address him, despite his often dishevelled appearance and sardonic manner. It’s also the reason Bond is so comfortable flinging himself down the Thames in a super-fast jet-boat, taking on dozens of enemies in high-speed pursuits through the bayous of Louisiana or diving to find wrecks in shark-infested waters. This is actually one of the most accessible means of emulating Bond, as you can take sailing lessons through many companies, including Sunsail, in some fantastic tropical locations. Just try not to mess it up 007.
About Today's Guest Writer:
Biog: Rob is a massive Bond fan and wherever possible he tries to emulate his hero and follow in his well-polished footsteps.