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
No half measures: ‘The Secret Life of the Pub’

Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air

Arts and Entertainment
Art on their sleeves: before downloads and streaming, enthusiasts used to flick through racks of albums in their local record shops
musicFor Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Arts and Entertainment
Serial suspect: the property heir charged with first-degree murder, Robert Durst
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Igarashi in her

Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression

Arts and Entertainment
Could Ed Sheeran conquer the Seven Kingdoms? He could easily pass for a Greyjoy like Alfie Allen's character (right)

tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
It's all in the genes: John Simm working in tandem with David Threlfall in 'Code of a Killer'

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Far Right and Proud: Reggies Yates' Extreme Russia

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West was mobbed in Armenia after jumping into a lake

music
Arts and Entertainment
The show suffers from its own appeal, being so good as to create an appetite in its viewers that is difficult to sate in a ten episode series

Game of Thrones reviewFirst look at season five contains some spoilers
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench and Kevin Spacey on the Red Carpet for 2015's Olivier Awards

Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awards

Theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Proving his metal: Ross Poldark (played by Aidan Turner in the BBC series) epitomises the risk-taking spirit of 18th-century mine owners

Poldark review
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne is reportedly favourite to play Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

film
Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars in dystopian action thriller Mad Max: Fury Road

film
Arts and Entertainment
Josh, 22, made his first million from the game MinoMonsters

Grace Dent

Channel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
News
Disgraced Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson
people
Arts and Entertainment
Game face: Zoë Kravitz, Bruce Greenwood and Ethan Hawke in ‘Good Kill’

film review

Arts and Entertainment
Living like there’s no tomorrow: Jon Hamm as Don Draper in the final season of ‘Mad Men’

TV review

Arts and Entertainment
Yaphett Kotto with Julius W Harris and Jane Seymour in 1973 Bond movie Live and Let Die

film
Arts and Entertainment

art
Arts and Entertainment

film
  • Get to the point
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.

    Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

    The secret CIA Starbucks

    The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
    Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

    How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

    The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
    One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

    One million Britons using food banks

    Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
    Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

    2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

    Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
    The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

    The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

    The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
    Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

    Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

    A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
    Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

    Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

    They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
    Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

    Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

    The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
    The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

    The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

    Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
    How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

    How to run a restaurant

    As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
    Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

    Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

    For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
    Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

    Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

    The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
    10 best tote bags

    Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

    We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
    Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

    Paul Scholes column

    I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
    Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

    Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

    The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...