In which G.M. Norton shows his appreciation for a living legend and style icon.
Dashing, suave, handsome, funny, charming. You could be forgiven for thinking I am being terribly egotistical and these superlatives are to describe myself. But alas, no. This is merely an attempt to highlight the focus of this week’s posting – Sir Roger Moore.
|The infamous eyebrow|
From time to time, I will shine the spotlight on my style icons and everybody’s favourite eyebrow raising gentleman has the dubious honour of being my first.
In case you’re wondering why Sir Roger is this week’s chosen one, there is good reason although you may want to sit down and fix yourself a glass of the strong stuff. Believe it or not but this Sunday, Sir Roger will celebrate his 85th birthday. Eighty-blinking-five. Makes you feel old, doesn’t it? Quick, pour yourself another drink.
Every inch the archetypal English gentleman, Sir Roger was the ideal person to play Britain’s most well-known spy, doing so in seven James Bond films. Of course, he had the perfect education leading up to it – firstly, studying at the Simon Templar School for Saints before advancing to the Sinclair and Wilde Anglo-American College of Persuaders.
His Bond portrayal was quite an influence on my eight-year-old self who watched wide-eyed as he saved the world from megalomaniacs while surrounded by ladies with an aversion to wearing clothes. That’s not to mention the underwater motorcar (sadly though, he’s the only Bond never to get behind the wheel of an Aston Martin).
|Don't worry, ladies - I'll get the spider|
It has long been rumoured that the boffins at Lynx ‘acquired’ pheromones from Sir Roger to create its famous ‘Lynx effect’. Upon close inspection of the above photograph, one must believe there’s a ring of truth in it.
Even Sir Roger readily admits that he’s not the best actor, once commenting that his acting range consists of “Left eyebrow raised, right eyebrow raised.” But when it comes to cutting a dash and having a sense of style though, he really is head, shoulders and torso above most so-called leading men. As Carly Simon sang for The Spy Who Loved Me theme tune, ‘Nobody does it better.’
Not many people could pull off a Safari suit as effortlessly as Sir Roger did in his first Bond outing, Live and Let Die. Sartorial standards were clearly set very high in this film as he also wore a rather dashing Chesterfield overcoat as he trod the uncompromising streets of Harlem.
|Yes, Mr Taxi Driver, I have coordinated my tie with your motorcar|
Even when he’s not playing Bond, Sir Roger remains a preening peacock, with lots of eccentric flourishes. He also has a sense of humour to match, happy to send himself up in Cannonball Run.
To conclude, here’s 007 facts about Sir Roger:
001) His father was a policeman.
002) He’s never worn jeans.
003) For a short time, he resided in Radcliffe in Bury, Greater Manchester (on the same street that I briefly lived).
004) His 007 contract provided him with an unlimited supply of Montecristo cigars during filming, typically running into thousands of pounds.
005) He didn’t perform any of his own stunts in Bond.
006) In seven Bond films, he never ordered a Vodka Martini (shaken, not stirred).
007) He suffers from Hoplophobia (fear of firearms)
Happy birthday for tomorrow, Sir Roger!
Protagonist of ‘Norton of Morton’