First ever Bond girl celebrates 50th anniversary of 007

 

Celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of James Bond have got under way as a 007-day tour was launched in some of the memorable locations used in the films.

Eunice Gayson, the first ever Bond girl, acted as "Bond bearer" when she kicked off the week-long tour at Eilean Donan Castle in Wester Ross, in the Scottish Highlands - where part of The World Is Not Enough was shot.

At 10.07am she set a digital timer on a golden briefcase containing the first copy of Bond 50 Blu-ray, a boxset with all 22 of the films to be released next Monday to mark the series' half-century.

She then travelled in Bond's Aston Martin DBS, featured in Quantum Of Solace in 2008, to Lochgilphead in Argyll where scenes in From Russia With Love were filmed.

Gayson played Bond's girlfriend Sylvia Trench in the first two films in the franchise: Dr No in 1962 and From Russia With Love a year later (opposite Sir Sean Connery).

The pair met over a casino table in Dr No, at which Bond says the famous words "the name's Bond, James Bond" for the first time.

Barrachuile, a hill a few miles from Lochgilphead, was used as the setting for the helicopter chase scene in From Russia With Love, which sees Bond shoot down the enemy Spectre aircraft from behind a rock.

Bond expert Brian Pendreigh, 54, from Edinburgh, was taken on a helicopter to the spot where the scene was filmed and to the actual rock that Sir Sean hides behind in the film.

The area doubles as the Adriatic in Turkey where much of the film is set.

A motorboat chase, in which Bond releases barrels of fuel before they are set alight, was shot at Loch Craignish nearby.

"From Russia With Love is the second James Bond film. Dr No had just come out and been very successful, more successful than most people anticipated," Mr Pendreigh said.

"They rushed From Russia With Love into production with a slightly bigger budget. It was filmed largely in Turkey.

"But there were a number of problems in Turkey. One was bad weather. They wanted to film a motorboat chase and there were problems with the boats and the weather.

"They came back to Britain to do a number of scenes in the studio and they still had to do the motorboat scene and the helicopter chase. They came to Argyllshire.

"Obviously they needed an expansive area for the motorboat chase. They shot that at Loch Craignish where they had their unit based for a number of weeks, and they just shot in the hills round about there."

Eilean Donan Castle is used as the Secret Service's headquarters in The World Is Not Enough. Mr Pendreigh, author of On Location, said it is one of the most frequently filmed castles in the UK.

"I think the books are really good to begin with but the films are a bit different from the books. James Bond was originally a figure of the establishment but with the casting of Sean Connery that kind of moved it into more of a classless hero or anti-hero," he said.

"The films have moved with the times. Each different actor that has played James Bond has brought something different to the role. Now there's less comedy. They're much grittier action films but they are still very British."

The Aston Martin and Blu-ray boxset will travel the length of Britain, visiting other memorable Bond locations such as Stoke Park and the Eden Project in Cornwall. It stops at hmv in Oxford Street, London for its release on Monday.

New Bond film Skyfall, some of which was shot in Glencoe, is released on October 26.

Gayson said: "It's been a wonderful experience right from the word go.

"First of all I was in a long-running show playing the lead in the Sound of Music, and when you're in a long-running show the one thing you long to do is something different during the run. So when Terence Young the director rang me up I was thrilled.

"I had worked with him before and he said 'for some reason you always bring me luck'.

"I was supposed to play the original Miss Moneypenny but of course I couldn't because of the show. When I was offered it I thought 'oh no'.

"So then they wrote the little part of Sylvia Trench. But I had the honour then on the first day's shoot of the first film Dr No of asking (Bond) to identify who he was. And of course his reply was 'the name's Bond, James Bond'. So I had that lovely scene with Sean that I wouldn't have had if I was Miss Moneypenny."

Sir Sean was nervous on their first day shooting and accidentally said the line "the name's Bond, James Connery", Gayson said.

"It was a big turning point in Sean's life, in anyone's life. We all knew he would make it big one day but he, I think, didn't know that until he made a big success. We didn't know of course it was going to be the massive success that it has been," she said.

"In my opinion, that first Dr No saved the British film industry because it was really rather in the doldrums. And they made so much money with that, they realised 'hey, we could have an industry again'. It was an exciting time."

PA

Arts and Entertainment
Legendary blues and rock singer Joe Cocker has died of lung cancer, his management team as confirmed. He was 70
music The singer has died aged 70
Arts and Entertainment
Maisie Williams looks concerned as Arya Stark
tv
Arts and Entertainment
photography Incredible images show London's skyline from its highest points
Arts and Entertainment
'Silent Night' last topped Classic FM's favourite Christmas carol poll in 2002
classical
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tv 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Rhys says: 'I'm not playing it for laughs, but I have learnt that if you fall over on stage, people can enjoy that as much as an amazing guitar solo'
musicGruff Rhys on his rock odyssey, and the trouble with independence
Arts and Entertainment
Krysia and Daniel (Hand out press photograph provided by Sally Richardson)
How do today's composers answer the challenge of the classical giant?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
News
Shenaz Treasurywala
film
News
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Watkins as Christopher Jefferies
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Star Wars Director JJ Abrams: key character's names have been revealed
film
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams won two BBC Music Awards for Best Song and International Artist
music
Arts and Entertainment
Mark, Katie and Sanjay in The Apprentice boardroom
TV
Arts and Entertainment

Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites

Arts and Entertainment
Frances O'Connor and James Nesbitt in 'The Missing'

TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations

Arts and Entertainment
Joey Essex will be hitting the slopes for series two of The Jump

TV

Who is taking the plunge?
Arts and Entertainment
Katy Perry as an Ancient Egyptian princess in her latest music video for 'Dark Horse'

music
Arts and Entertainment
Dame Judi Dench, as M in Skyfall

film
Arts and Entertainment
Morrissey, 1988

TV
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

    Autism-friendly theatre

    Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

    Panto dames: before and after

    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

    Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
    The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

    The man who hunts giants

    A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there