Dear Sean Connery: An American as James Bond? Or an Australian? Please come back, Sean, you're the only one licensed to make a girl go phoaah]

No doubt you've heard of Timothy Dalton's decision to hand back his Walther PPK and resign from Her Majesty's Secret Service. I know that you're terribly busy these days and sick to death of being stalked by the ghost of James Bond, but the fact is, there's a bit of a crisis on.

You see, there may be moves afoot to hand the Savile Row suit you hung up more than a decade ago to a foreigner (well, OK, an American or an Australian, which in this context amounts to the same thing). In the betting, Mel Gibson and Bruce Willis are not far behind the 2-1 favourite, the Irishman Pierce Brosnan of Remington Steele.

I'm not being xenophobic, but I'm sure I'm not the only one who has difficulty reconciling the scruffy, laid-back hero of Lethal Weapon, or his strutting, smirking counterpart in Die Hard, with the sartorial elegance and clipped, sardonic wit you brought to the role. It was bad enough when your curt Scottish burr was replaced by the bland suburban tones of Roger Moore, but the idea of Bond with a transatlantic drawl or, worse, a speech-coached parody of an English accent such as that essayed by Keanu Reeves (another possible candidate) in Dracula fills me with horror. And while Pierce Brosnan has the dark good looks and the sort of hair that takes well to pomade, he's just too tacky.

You always understood that there was more to Bond's appeal than gadgets, gimmicks and the ability to pull pussies galore. I don't doubt the prospective candidates' skill at wrestling with sharks, having sex underwater or delivering a cool riposte to the likes of Blofeld. But none of them has quite the same impeccable phoaah] factor.

Call me sexist if you like (though I would only reply that sexism is the idiom that Bond appreciates) but from the moment you stepped out in a white dj and raised a quizzical black eyebrow in 1962, you epitomised the kind of smooth, ironic sex appeal not seen since Cary Grant's heyday. Long before you earned the title of Sexiest Man Alive, that come-hither-and-drown-in-my-lust gaze and muscled torso inspired a million dreams.

Nor was your phoaah] factor simply a product of youth. You may be pushing 64, the hair may have fallen out, the torso gone a little flaccid, but some things don't date.

As Bond, you were narcissistic, macho, faithless. Because your fans knew that you wouldn't respect them in the morning, you gave us a licence to dispense with social mores and to enjoy, vicariously at least, a few hours of unstoppable passion matched with technical skill. Your Bond understood that what women want (some of the time anyway) is a good time, and you always hit the target. So when you flashed a grin and strode off to the next assignment after a bout in the sack, your female fans could share the joke.

So please don't abandon us to some campy Hollywood caricature. Despite what the film said, you only live once.


Helen Birch

with love

(Photograph omitted)

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
Reimagined: Gwyneth Paltrow and Toni Collette in the film adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma
Arts and Entertainment
Jesuthasan Antonythasan as Dheepan
Cannes 2015Dheepan, film review
Richard Blair is concerned the trenches are falling into disrepair
newsGeorge Orwell's son wants to save war site that inspired book
Arts and Entertainment
The pair in their heyday in 1967
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

    £40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

    Guru Careers: Software Developer

    £35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

    Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

    £25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

    Day In a Page

    Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

    Abuse - and the hell that follows

    James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
    Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

    It's oh so quiet!

    The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
    'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

    'Timeless fashion'

    It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
    If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

    Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

    Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
    New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

    Evolution of swimwear

    From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine