The day I met Roger Moore
Some time ago, Cubby Broccoli was holding auditions for a new James Bond. George Lazenby had starred in the last Bond movie in ‘On her Majesty’s Secret Service’, but he was not well known and had little experience as an actor, having started out as a male model. He was not chosen to play Bond in the next film.
I was interviewed for the role, but lost by an eyebrow to Roger Moore, partly because he was already a household name. He had been playing Simon Templar in the long-running TV series, ‘The Saint’, based on the books by Leslie Charteris.
Later that year, I decided to produce a radio series called ‘The Castaways’. Desert Island Discs had been popular for years, but I felt they interviewed too many vicars and church organists, which was reflected in their dreary choice of music and books.
I wanted ‘The Castaways’ to be more up to date and interview stars with a bright personality and sense of humour.
My first choices were Roger Moore and the Duke of Bedford. I’ve always liked Roger Moore because he didn’t take himself too seriously. When I arrived at Pinewood Studios, he greeted me with his assistant. He had a large cigar in his mouth, which seemed to be stuck to his teeth because it never moved.
All his answers were mumbled through the tobacco, which I thought was rude. It was quite apparent that he didn’t like me.
He didn’t seem in the least bit engaged with the conversation.
I asked him who he would most like to be 'cast away' with and he said: “Brigitte Bardot because I want to improve my French.”
Next week - the Duke of Bedford and dinner with the Duchess - what a great day that was!