CBC Digital Archives

Ian Fleming: The man with the Golden pen

More than 50 years after suave British spy James Bond first appeared in the novel Casino Royale, the deadly secret agent remains among the most popular characters in fiction. Bond books were bestsellers and the movie franchise has grossed over US $4 billion. 2008 marks the 100th anniversary of Bond creator Ian Fleming's birth and, in celebration of his inimitable creation, the CBC Digital Archives explores the Canadian connections to the British spy and looks back on the early days of Bond ... James Bond.

In James Bond, Ian Fleming created one of the immortal action heroes in modern popular culture, but his own life proved more fragile. Five days after his death from a heart attack, CBC-TV's Explorations offers a recent peek into life at The Golden Eye, Fleming's Jamaican hideaway, where the author defends the sex and violence in his works and discusses how his own life experiences helped shape the character that made him famous. Learn the unlikely inspiration for James Bond's name and why tea was the downfall of the British empire in this 1964 interview.

• Fleming has another, non-Bond book which has also reached the silver screen: he wrote Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, a childrens' story he concocted while recovering from a heart attack in 1961. He made up the story for his son Caspar.

• Ian Fleming died on Aug. 12, 1964, on Caspar's twelfth birthday. Caspar died of a drug overdose in 1974.

• British actor Christopher Lee, who played Francisco Scaramanga, the eponymous villain in the James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun, is Ian Fleming's cousin.

Medium: Television
Program: Explorations
Broadcast Date: Aug. 17, 1964
Guest(s): Ian Fleming
Interviewer: Munro Scott
Duration: 27:16

Last updated: November 15, 2012

Page consulted on December 6, 2013

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