The Saint In The Church

Sir Roger Moore In Conversation
November 25th 2008
Baptist Church, Flinders Street, Melbourne

Tuesday evening I was lucky enough to attend a special event in Melbourne with Sir Roger Moore, arranged by the Readers Feast Bookstore. The event was held in a church, not far from the iconic Flinders Street Station. I arrived in town early, and with time to kill, stopped off at Young & Jacksons for a quick libation. Refreshed, I headed off to the event. Inside, I took a seat on one of the pews (as close to the front as I could), and then nervously awaited the arrival of the legendary actor. Needless to say, I was not alone. Four hundred other patrons packed the tiny church.

The evening consisted of an MC asking Sir Roger a series of questions about his life, and this was followed by questions from the audience. Afterward he naturally signed copies of his new book, My Word Is My Bond.

Sir Roger was, as you’d expect, charming and witty as he recounted tales from his childhood, early film roles and then his work with UNICEF. One of his more amusing tales concerned being shot in the leg with an air rifle. Then later, after describing a rather graphic tale about the plight of some children in Salvador, he then paused and then apoligised for bringing the tone of the evening down. The apology wasn’t necessary. We were all eager to hear what Sir Roger had to say, and it certainly didn’t taint the evening that it wasn’t all sweetness and light. If an apology is required, it is for his work on Fire, Ice and Dynamite, not in performing his duties as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.

An interesting tidbit that was revealed is that the new Saint project is going forward – Sir Roger didn’t mention any cast members – but did say filming was to begin in January. He also alluded to having a cameo in the production! Time will tell.

Then the questions were opened up to the floor. There are two types of ‘fans’ in this world. There are those who follow the mainstream and just want to know about James Bond, and naturally Sir Roger was asked quite a few questions in relation to his most famous screen role. The other type of fan wants to show how well researched they are, and ask more obscure questions. In this instance the obscure question related to the film North Sea Hijack (or Ffolkes as it also known).

Unfortunately I didn’t have the opportunity to ask Sir Roger a question. Sadly, I would have been one of the ones who asks the obscure questions. I would have asked him about working with hellraisers like Richard Burton, Richard Harris and Lee Marvin. I am sure his response would have raised a chuckle. After the questions, orderly queues were formed to have copies of his latest book signed.

And then it was over. All too brief. But, for me – and let’s face it, I’m a guy who writes a blog about spy films – this event was a big tick in my life box. On this side of the world, down under, not many people make the time to come out and meet the fans. Sure stars will fly out for a quick promotional tour to flog their latest movie (most premieres are in Sydney), and then they’ll be gone. Sure, Sir Roger has got his wares to sell too, but he could have spent the time in a hotel and just participated in a few television interviews. Instead, he was gracious enough to appear at multiple events around the city.

Sir Roger, sincerely, thank you.

Special thanks to Mick

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