Tag Archives: Roger Moore

Bye to the Saint, Ivanhoe and 007

Roger Moore died earlier today. He’s not someone I have thought very much about in recent years, but when I was a child and teenager he was right up there with the best.

Most people refer to him as James Bond, but his 007 days were almost a bit late for me. I’d liked Ivanhoe, and I’d loved The Saint, and sort of enjoyed The Persuaders. But that’s quite a bit of screen entertainment from one man, and enough to cover many of my early years.

Roger was a good 007; I think it’s mainly that I was never big on Bond.

But almost nine years ago when Roger appeared in Cheltenham, there was no question but we had to go to his event. He’d just turned 80 at the time, and had a book out, I believe, which is why he appeared at a book festival.

He showed his age, which I suppose is unavoidable, but his acting skills carried him through. The one thing that surprised me was his dislike of Hjördis Niven. Well, no. More that he didn’t mind airing it publicly.

Roger Moore

Goodbye to this handsome man who gave us so many screen adventures!

Tom, George and Ian

Who’d have thought it? The younger witch was occasionally starstruck, but never thought anything would come of it. But times change, witches grow up and move abroad, and even take up blogging. With no more ulterior motive than getting to say what she thinks about almost everything.

I did get to se Roger Moore live, in Cheltenham a few years ago. I suppose that would have been an almost impossible dream back when he Sainted his way into our living room. After all, he was an older man. But he does still look very good. And he has a Swedish wife, so I dare say the connection is there, however vague. But I didn’t meet him, and this isn’t about old Ivanhoe.

His successor comes into this, however. I thought Ian Ogilvy was really handsome when he took over the Saintly business. Again, fairly old (sorry!), and pretty much out of reach. But then there is that facebook thing, and I must have been very bored one day, but I found we had friends in common. Also found he had taken up writing children’s books, so I ended up reading and reviewing one, and exchanging the odd message on fb.

Someone I really fancied back in the olden days was George Layton. Fast forward about thirty years, and the temporary residence at Bookwitch Towers of The New Librarian. She did unpaid work in a local bookshop, and one day she came home and told me there had been this old actor doing a school event, and I almost fainted when I heard it was George Layton. (Pearls before swine, that was.) He was here and I had not met him!

But, George now writes children’s books, too, so within months he was back and came to Offspring’s school and I met him and we talked about Ikea’s pickled herring, and I told him that no, I didn’t personally know all those Swedish actors he mentioned. Nice of him to assume, though.

And he came back some more and I saw him several times and felt very nearly blasé about it.

Later still, and same bookshop still, and I came face to face with Tom Conti. He’s another of those ‘old’ actors I used to drool over on television. I thought it was pretty good when I saw him live in a theatre in London (Whose Life Is It, Anyway), but being three feet away from him sort of beats even that.

He too has written a book. (What is it with actors and all this writing?) Not a children’s one, but I read it anyway. He was here to talk about it, and luckily this time it was the actor’s mobile phone which went off, not one of ours.

So, it’s funny how books and time caused these unreachable stars to come within reach of an ordinary witch. And the thing is, once you have met someone like that, the excitement goes away. You’ve seen that they are normal people. Just more famous, maybe a little wealthier, and still good looking.

The search for Hjördis

Ever since the start of Bookwitch, I’ve been fascinated by the searches people have made, only to end up with me. Sometimes it makes perfect sense. They search for something ‘normal’ and end up on my blogs because I’ve written about whatever it is.

Occasionally (quite often, actually) people search for really weird things, which I definitely have not written about. Just goes to show google isn’t infallible.

For CultureWitch I’m astounded that the commonest search is Hjördis Niven. I mentioned her in passing in October last year, as Roger Moore had talked about her. But I have no particular knowledge about poor Hjördis. I decided I’d google a little too, but there really isn’t much out there. What there is is all the same, and not nice.

I really liked David Niven, and feel sorry that his marriage may have been pretty awful, but until last year I didn’t know that. I read his autobiography many years ago, which ends with their wedding. I’ve read far too many Swedish magazines than is good for me, but I suppose it’s natural they would write nice things about one of their own who married a famous actor.

In my own search I only came up with one different item, which at least is quite amusing.

Roger Moore in Cheltenham

I didn’t know that Hjördis Niven was quite so awful, until Roger Moore mentioned it this evening. It doesn’t feel like a nice thing to say, but since he told two thousand of us or so, it can’t be considered a secret. He hastened to add that he doesn’t dislike all Swedes, which came as a relief both to the witch and to his wife.

Roger Moore

Having liked Roger since the days of Ivanhoe, through The Saint and all the rest, it was good to be able to hear him talk about his life, although we didn’t have time for quite everything from his 81 years in just over an hour. But he is 81! He doesn’t look it. He does come over very slightly doddery at times, but covers it up magnificently with that voice and all his charm.

We veered off topic a few times, but all in all it was an enlightening evening with Sir Roger. And he does a good Sean Connery impersonation.

 

(Photo by H Giles)