Lotus sports car to star at Bond-themed summer concert at Blickling Hall

Roger Becker, former head of product engineering at Lotus and stunt driver, with the Lotus Esprit ca

Roger Becker, former head of product engineering at Lotus and stunt driver, with the Lotus Esprit car which will appear at the Bond-themed concert at Blickling Hall in August. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

The sleek lines of a Norfolk-built sports car, which starred as one of James Bond's top spy gadgets, are to grace a stately home during a 007-themed music event.

The Last Night of the Blickling Proms concert in August is celebrating 50 years of James Bond.

It will include his movie themes on the playlist, and concertgoers are being invited to dress up as glamorous Bond girls or the agent's villainous enemies.

But the event on August 10 will also showcase a Lotus Esprit, like the one which starred in the 1977 film The Spy Who Loved Me - when it turned into a submarine during an all-action car chase.

The car belongs to Paul Murray, lead designer at Lotus Cars, who is lending it for the occasion.

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It is last Esprit S1 to be made, in 1978. Mr Murray has owned it for 18 months and last year the car was completely rebuilt, including the engine and original interior.

He said: 'Before the rebuild the car had been sitting in a barn for 10 years and although it was complete, it was looking very tired.'

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The model's appearance in the movie was down a daring mission by the company's PR man Donovan McLauchlan , who parked an unbadged version at Pinewood studios, so it would have to be noticed by movie moguls.

The bosses asked for it to be featured. And Lotus former lead engineer Roger Becker, from Attleborough, also played a key part in the film, as a stunt driver. But it was a role he landed by accident.

He was there to train a stunt man, who was struggling to get to grips with the car during a mountain road chase scene.

When an angry Mr Becker sped the car back to the top for yet another retake, the director gave him the job - and he became Roger Moore's double for the movie.

The car is just one of the glitzy Bond trimmings for the Blickling concert, being staged by Revival Productions, with support from EDP publishers Archant.

Picnicking crowds will enjoy a symphonic medley of James Bond classics such as Goldfinger, Live and Let Die and Skyfall from the Sinfonia Viva orchestra. The second half will include traditional proms favourites including Nimrod, British Sea Songs, Rule Britannia, Jerusalem and Land of Hope and Glory.

Tickets are £32 (£35 on the night) online at www.revival-productions.co.uk or through the box office on 01263 734711. Group discounts of up to 20pc are also available.

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