Roger Moore sues TV firm

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The Independent Online
THE FORMER James Bond actor Roger Moor is suing a television company over the rights to his Seventies TV series The Persuaders.

Moore, who played urbane Lord Brett Sinclair opposite Tony Curtis in the series, launched a legal claim this week for up to pounds 100,000 against ITC Entertainment Group, a subsidiary of Polygram.

The film star, who lives in Switzerland, claims he signed a deal with ITC in 1970 over the UK rights to The Persuaders as well as his Sixties cult hit series The Saint. Under this agreement ITC could rerun all 24 episodes of The Persuaders in the UK up to three times. After that it would have to negotiate a new deal. A similar agreement was made over The Saint, Moore says.

Years passed and the two series gained a cult following for their inadvertent camp humour.

In February 1998, ITC wrote to Moore, asking whether it could reshow The Saint and The Persuaders on Granada Sky Broadcasting, a joint venture between Granada and Rupert Murdoch's BSkyB. ITC was now owned by Polygram.

Moore alleges ITC made a deal to reshow The Saint for pounds 100,000, but also included The Persuaders in the deal, without his consent, and without any extra payment. GSkyB started showing reruns of The Persuaders from August. The actor's lawyers say he would have sought a fee of pounds 100,000.

A spokeswoman for Polygram said: "We have no comment to make at this stage."