Things To Do in Barnes, Battersea, Cheam, Clapham, Epsom, Fulham, Kingston, Putney, Surbiton, Sutton, Wandsworth, Wimbledon

‘Smotri, smotri….’

With these words, uttered by a pair of longforgotten extras, was I introduced to James Bond some 28 years ago.

It was the opening pre-credit sequence of A View to a Kill and it was the beginning of a life-long passion for all things 007: the gadgets, the glamour, the one-liners, the international travel – the whole Thames Television Sunday Matinee experience.

It’s said that your first James Bond persona remains your favourite. Roger Moore may have been a touch long in the tooth by the time he shot his final outing as 007, but his tongue in cheek take on the great British spy remains the most interesting depictions for me. Yes, the Moore years were a bit camp at times and some of the acting (Barbara Bach in The Spy Who love Me springs to mind) was weaker than a watered down Martini (which is apparently what shaking and not stirring gets you), but looking back you can appreciate that Moore was the perfect representative of his era. The Cold War had all but ended and post-war austerity was over, viewers favoured a more light-hearted approach, and no-one does that better than Roger. Out went the Saville Row suits, Spectre, Smersh and realistic plots, and in came outlandish plans for world domination, raised eyebrows and flairs.

Of all the Bonds, only Moore could be said to have had a truly memorable wardrobe (who else could have pulled off the Arab sheik entrance?). The colours, the cuts, the rash epaulettes, the wide collars, the kipper ties – Moore had a style that evolved with his two decades in the role and his wardrobe is remembered for its uniquely 007 take on the times. It’s fitting, then, that Roger Moore, a local hero, should lead us into this years’ style issue. Roll title sequence…

Jon Watt is editor of the Clapham & Battersea and Fulham editions of Time & Leisure Magazine.