James Bond links to Norfolk
09:25 22 October 2012
Archant © 2010
Wing Commander Ken Wallis, who lives near Dereham, doubled for Sean Connery in scenes which saw the secret agent fly an autogyro. His story is in tomorrow’s EDP.
Farmland at Burnham Deepdale near Wells was transformed into South Korean paddy-fields for shots used in Die Another Day where a car was dropped out of a plane.
The villain in three Bond novels and six films – the white cat-stroking Ernst Stavro Blofeld, head of SPECTRE – is said to have been named after Tom Blofeld, a Norfolk farmer who had been a contemporary of Ian Fleming’s at Eton and was later a fellow member of Fleming’s London club, Boodle’s. The real Blofeld was also father of Daily Express cricket correspondent and BBC Radio Test Match Special commentator Henry Blofeld. He once said: “It was a direct crib, although none of my family ever owned a white pussy, let alone stroked one.”
RAF Marham was also used as a film location for Die Another Day. Piece Brosnan and Rick Yune (who played Zao) were both on hand to shoot helicopter scenes through heavy winds and intermittent rain. The plot involved several NSA agents taking off in a helicopter which later crashed and exploded while Bond looked on helplessly.
Ian Fleming’s great nephew – former cricketer Matthew Fleming (pictured) –- lives just outside Norwich. In his role as governor at Ormiston Victory Academy in Costessey, Matthew has donated copies of every single James Bond book penned by his great uncle to the library.
Just across the border in Suffolk, Elveden Hall was used as the scene of Pushkin’s assassination in The Living Daylights. Similarly, RAF Lakenheath was used as “a US Airbase in Southern China” in Tomorrow Never Dies, hence the LN markings on the F-15s.
The submersible Esprit car produced by Norfolk firm Lotus made a big splash in The Spy Who Loved Me. On Friday, we take an in-depth look at Lotus and its links with James Bond.