Roger Moore became Bond instead of me
Listening to Desert Island Discs on the BBC was very popular, but I always thought it could be livened up. There were too many vicars and accountants whose choice of music was not always in tandem with mine. A hymn or ‘Tears of the Soul' from the early music ensemble will not elicit a flood of emotional memories. Then, the never to be forgotten ‘Romanos’, ‘The Melodist’ and more medieval memories such as ‘Khosrovidsk’ (daughter of Khosrov) and finally, one of my favourites: Notker Balbulus (Notker the Stammerer). Don’t ask.
I decided to create a new series called ‘The Castaways’ and invite celebrities who had led an exciting life. Roger Moore was my first choice because he didn’t seem to take himself too seriously.
We arranged to meet at Pinewood studios. He turned up with an assistant and immediately showed that he didn’t like me. During the interview he spoke through a large cigar, which seemed like a permanent feature, and rudely answered my questions with a single word or a grunt.
I had always liked Roger, even though Cubby Broccoli had us both audition for the role of James Bond and of course, Roger got the part. I sobbed uncontrollably for the next few years.
Back to the interview.
I asked him to tell me a funny experience when he was working at Pinewood. He livened up a bit and said: “One day, between takes, I let out an expletive. When I turned around there were four nuns standing behind me!” He looked quite pleased with his daredevil attitude.
Then I asked him if there was anything he would like to do in his career he hadn’t done yet. “Yes” he said, “I would like to work with Brigitte Bardot.” There was a slight pause while the excitement built. After a few seconds he said, “I’ve always wanted to improve my French.”
I think humour is very important, perhaps I missed the point. He then told me that he would keep his mouth tightly closed when he kissed his leading lady. I think I missed that point too.