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Poll and video: We celebrate James Bond’s Norfolk links as the film series marks its 50th birthday - and ask in our poll for your favourite Bond

11:24 05 October 2012

Daniel Craig is the current incarnation of James Bond

Daniel Craig is the current incarnation of James Bond

Archant

It’s 50 years since the first James Bond film Doctor No had its world premiere and the 23rd official Bond film, Skyfall, arrives on October 26. To celebrate Bond’s half century, we are looking back at the series links to Norfolk.

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Norfolk has had a big part to play in the world of James Bond – and not just in terms of the submersible Esprit car produced by Norfolk firm Lotus which made such a splash in The Spy Who Loved Me.

Bond’s arch enemy Ernst Stavro Blofeld – the supervillain with the cat and the scar on his face – owes much to the Norfolk-based family of the same name.

James Bond author Ian Fleming was in a gentleman’s club in London trying to come up with a name for the villain and is supposed to have said the next person who walked into the club would be the villain and “in walked Blofeld” – a descendent of the family based at Hoveton, near Norwich that also includes cricket commentator Henry Blofeld. Henry Blofeld’s father, Tom Blofeld went to Eton with Ian Fleming.

And Ian Fleming’s great-nephew, the former cricketer Matthew Fleming, who was born less than a year before Ian Fleming died aged just 56, now lives in Horstead, near Coltishall.

Meanwhile, former UEA student Charlie Higson wrote five books portraying Bond as a teenager.

The Evening News/Eastern Daily Press reported earlier this month that a record-breaking autogyro pilot from Norfolk, who flew as a James Bond stunt double, is to be honoured for his lifetime contribution to aerospace.

Retired Wing Cdr Ken Wallis, who lives near Dereham, will be given the award by the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators. His Little Nellie starred in the 1967 James Bond film You Only Live Twice, and he doubled for Sean Connery as James Bond in the same film.

You can also watch a clip from the 1962 film Dr No starring the first James Bond, Sean Connery

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