James Bond : A Celebration + An Evening With George Lazenby
Pinewood Studios, London, England - June 11th 2005


On June 11th 2005, over 140 fans, actors and behind the scenes crew descended on Pinewood Studios - the home of 007 - for James Bond : A Celebration + An Evening With George Lazenby. As Pinewood is not normally open to the public, visiting what is possibly the most famous film studios in the world is a rare privilege for any fan and an opportunity for actors and crew to share many fond memories of working on the Bond movies.


Although the event was considered a major success, it was tinged with sadness as our good friend Michael Billington was due to attend but sadly passed away the previous week. He will be greatly missed and our heartfelt sympathy goes out to all his friends and family.


The weather was absolutely glorious, showing off Pinewood's newly mown lawns and neatly trimmed hedges; the gardeners at Pinewood working their magic especially for our event.


Pinewood's Ivy covered bar
The Gardens
The Ornamental Bridge used in From Russia With Love
Pinewood's Ivy clad bar

Pinewood's Gardens

The Ornamental Bridge used in From Russia With Love

The doors opened at 9am and after registration guests could visit the Green Room to purchase memorabilia from several dealers in attendance. Corgi Classics were celebrating their 40 year association with Bond by displaying pre-production models of the new Goldfinger Aston Martin DB5 and Die Another Day's Aston Martin Vanquish. In the Gatsby Suite, our special guests in the guise of Madeline Smith (Miss Caruso in Live and Let Die), John Wyman (Eric Kriegler in For Your Eyes Only), John Moreno (Luigi Ferrara in For Your Eyes Only), Jan Williams (Red Grant's Masseuse in From Russia With Love), Alan Hume (Director of Photography on several Bond movies), Joe Robinson (Peter Franks in Diamonds Are Forever), Thomas Wheatley (Saunders in The Living Daylights) and Eunice Gayson (Sylvia Trench in Dr No and From Russia With Love) were happy to share their experiences of working on the Bond movies and sign programmes.

Eunice Gayson
Madeline Smith
Norman Wanstall & Jan Williams
Eunice Gayson
Madeline Smith
Norman Wanstall
& Jan Williams

John Moreno & John Wyman
Mark Walker & Terence Mountain
Thomas Wheatley
John Wyman & John Moreno
Mark Walker &
Terence Mountain
Thomas Wheatley

Our very own Pinewood experts Gareth Owen and Dave Worrall then led 2 groups around the Pinewood studio complex, visiting such locations as the Paddock Tank where the ice chase from The Living Daylights and Elliot Carver's stealth boat sequences in Tomorrow Never Dies were filmed, the backlot which has been host to many of the great Bond sets such as the Korean military compound in Die Another Day, the giant volcano in You Only Live Twice, Fort Knox in Goldfinger and the Golden Gate Bridge in A View To A Kill and a surprise visit onto the gigantic 007 stage where the sets for the Ice Palace in Die Another Day and Stromberg's submarine in The Spy Who Loved Me were built. The gardens and mansion house at Pinewood have also been used extensively including the pre-title sequence of From Russia With Love where they doubled for S.P.E.C.T.R.E Island and the grotto used as Renard's Lair in The World Is Not Enough.


Norman Wanstall, Fiona Walker & Oscar
Jan Williams & Paul Wynn
Eunice Gayson
Norman Wanstall,
Fiona Walker& Oscar

Jan Williams & Paul Wynn
Eunice Gayson thinking how lovely Norman Wanstall's Oscar would look on her sideboard

As our guests crossed the small bridge, we had arranged for the lovely Jan Williams to leap out and offer massages in reference to her character as the masseuse in From Russia With Love. It was then back to the Gatsby Suite for a well earned rest and a wonderful barbecue lunch.

The Paddock Tank
The Gardens
Jan Williams
The Paddock Tank
with blue screen backdrop

Albert R Broccoli's 007 Stage
Jan Williams offers a massage

After lunch it was time to assemble in Theatre 7, one of the most luxurious state of the art cinemas in the world where top directors view their daily rushes, today it was host to a question and answer session with Eunice Gayson, John Moreno, Thomas Wheatley, Albert Moses (Sadruddin in Octopussy), Joe Robinson, John Wyman, Norman Wanstall (Oscar winning sound editor), Jan Williams and Madeline Smith. Eunice Gayson remembers the first day of shooting on Dr No and admitted getting Sean Connery just a little drunk as he was so nervous, John Moreno explained how his comical scenes were cut from For Your Eyes Only and Albert Moses entertained us with anecdotes from his time in Octopussy. Gareth informed everyone that Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson were due to attend but after the death of their close friend, Michael Billington, were just too devastated.

Gareth Owen, John Moreno, Eunice Gayson, John Wyman and Jan Williams
Gareth Owen, John Moreno, Eunice Gayson, John Wyman
and Jan Williams at the Q & A in Theatre 7

After the Q & A it was time for some refreshments before returning to Theatre 7 for what would be the only way to experience On Her Majesty's Secret Service - on the big screen in 35mm, for many of our guests, this would be the first time they had seen this Bond classic on the silver screen. Locating the best print was a difficult task and after a disappointing search, EON Productions and MGM came to our rescue and loaned us their very own studio archive print. Those who attended will agree that the quality was simply stunning, so a big thank you to all involved in making this happen.


As we like to keep a little surprise up our sleeve for each event, this one was no exception as James Bond himself - George Lazenby unexpectedly arrived to introduce the movie with rapturous applause and a standing ovation.


After the screening it was back to the Gatsby Suite for a chance to meet some of the cast and crew from On Her Majesty's Secret Service including Terence Mountain (Raphael), George Leech (George Lazenby's stunt double), Michael Reed (Director of Photography), Alec Mills (Camera Operator), Jeanie Sims (Peter Hunt's assistant), and of course, George Lazenby.


George Leech
Jeanie Sims & Norman Wanstall
George Lazenby
George Leech
Jeanie Sims
& Norman Wanstall

George Lazenby

Following a delicious 3 course meal in the dining room, Gareth announced the winner of our Bond Trivia Quiz - Martijn Mulder came first with an impressive 29 points and Bud Sonoda came second with a respectable 28 points, well done to both of you.


George Lazenby and Gareth Owen then took to the stage. For over an hour George told us of his childhood in Queanbeyan, his arrival in London and becoming a car salesman on Park Lane; then becoming the highest paid model in Europe and landing the role of the Big Fry Man for a series of chocolate commercials (anyone fancy a bar of Fry's chocolate cream - thought not). He then revealed how his arrogance landed him the role of James Bond, sharing with us many anecdotes from his time as the worlds best known secret agent. George also announced that he and his wife Pam Shriver are expecting twins; Gareth quipped that he would have to be at least 87 before he could legally buy them both a drink in the USA.


After a few questions from the audience, the event was over with George delivering one of the most famous lines in movie history "the names Bond..James Bond" to the delight of our audience who responded with enthusiastic applause and a standing ovation. Upon leaving, each of our guests were given a goodie bag containing a signed On Her Majesty's Secret Service DVD, a Corgi car, a copy of Collecting 007 and 007 Magazine, The Making of Thunderbirds book (why I hear you ask - well it was actually made at Pinewood) plus various flyers and brochures. Everyone seemed happy and the day ran like clockwork. As they always say in the movies, James Bond will return and we will too, thanks to everyone involved for making it a day we will never forget.


George Lazenby
George Lazenby - In Conversation


With thanks to:

George Lazenby for giving us his time and making this event possible
Barbara Broccoli, Michael G Wilson and Anne Bennett at EON Productions
Pinewood Shepperton pinewoodshepperton.com
MGM Home Entertainment mgm.com
Corgi Classics corgiclassics.co.uk
Titan Books titanbooks.co.uk
Martijn Mulder onthetracksof007.com
Graham Rye 007magazine.co.uk
Movie Market moviemarket.co.uk
Dave Worrall bondbooks.biz cinemaretro.com
Steve Goss infinitelybetter.com
Cadbury cadbury.co.uk
Reynolds and Hearn rhbooks.com


And our special guests:
Terence Mountain, George Leech, Jeanie Sims, Alec Mills, Joe Robinson, Jan Williams, Thomas Wheatley, Alan Hume, Michael Reed, John Moreno, John Wyman, Norman Wanstall, Madeline Smith and Eunice Gayson.

Damian Fox, Matt Gardener, Robin Harbour, Adrian Head and Paul Marchant-Smith for all their invaluable help throughout the day.

And finally thanks to all who attended for supporting our event


In Memory of our friend Michael Billington (1941 - 2005)

Bondstars will return!!