Students succeed where Alan Partridge failed in charity James Bond marathon
PUBLISHED: 17:06 16 June 2020 | UPDATED: 16:33 18 June 2020
Two UEA students have succeeded where Alan Partridge once famously failed - by watching every James Bond film back-to-back.
And while Steve Coogan’s timeless character planned his 007 marathon simply to pass a bank holiday weekend, 21-year-olds George Barham and Josh Antcliff took on the challenge for a good cause.
The pair are fundraising for Hope for Children, ahead of taking on the Three Peak Challenge later this year - which will see them climb the three tallest peaks in the United Kingdom - Ben Nevis, Mount Snowdon and Scafell Pike.
The students, who both attend the University of East Anglia, originally planned a variety of fundraising events leading up to the challenge, but when lockdown kicked in they had to think creatively for alternative ways of raising money.
And with charities challenging fundraisers to think of challenges connected to the number 26, following the cancellation of the London Marathon, the pair chose to watch all 26 of the spy thrillers in Ian Fleming’s franchise.
Mr Barham watched from his home on Green Lane in Earlham while Mr Ancliff joined him via video link from his home in Sheffield, with the pair broadcasting their efforts along the way.
Mr Barham said: “We specifically chose Bond films because of the 2.6 challenge, as there are 26 films in total.
“It was definitely quite a challenge - certainly after the first six or seven films we found ourselves getting really tired and had a few 30-second black outs.”
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The marathon took the pair in the region of 60 hours, during which time they were not able to take breaks for sleep. They instead kept each other alert by rating films against certain criteria as they went.
And unlike when the bungling Norwich deejay Partridge attempted the challenge there were no Sunny Delight-related mishaps standing in the way - and The Spy Who Loved Me was not taped over with America’s Strongest Man.
Mr Barham added: “We were on a high for the first few films but after a while it was extremely tiring. But 16-17 films in, when we reached the Pierce Brosnan era, we got a bit of a second wind as those were the ones we remembered best from our childhood.”
Since beginning their fundraising, the pair have raised more than £1,500.
Mr Barham added that George Lazenby was his favourite 007, Casino Royale his favourite film and Duran Duran’s A View to a Kill his favourite theme song.