The charitable side of... James Bond

Graham Willgoss

From Blofeld's phoney charity to Pussy Galore and beyond, the Bond actors have always been busy on the not-for-profit front.

"A dedicated fraternity whose strength lies in the absolute integrity of its members." It would be a proud boast from the head of any charity, but when the organisation in question is Spectre, the Special Executive for Counterintelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion, and the head is Ernst Stavro Blofeld, ruthless criminal mastermind and full-time nemesis of James Bond, one begins to doubt if it subscribes to Third Sector.

With the facade of a reputable charity, Spectre appears in no less than six Bond films. But with the 21st Bond feature, Casino Royale, due to start filming this week, the real-life franchise is keen to point out that it is associated with bona fide good causes too.

"We support many charities," says a spokeswoman for Eon Productions, the company behind the next bout of Bondage. She lists Breast Cancer Campaign and the Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund as beneficiaries of charity premieres, but is reluctant to go into detail.

The actors to have filled Bond's tuxedo, on the other hand, are more open about their charitable work. Sean Connery co-founded the Scottish International Education Trust with his fee from Diamonds are Forever, while Unicef representative Pierce Brosnan counts a host of environmental, women's health, and children and animal welfare charities among the organisations that have left him shaken but not stirred. Sir Roger Moore, another Unicef ambassador, was awarded the International Humanitarian Award in 2000 and knighted in 2003 for his charity work.

Finally, a rare first edition of Ian Fleming's Live and Let Die was auctioned for £5,000 in aid of the Imperial Cancer Research Fund after it was found in one of its shops in 2001.

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