Russell Blackstock

Russell Blackstock is a senior reporter at the Herald on Sunday.

Bond: A spy by any other name

James Bond, sewage worker from Plimmerton. Photo / Getty Images
James Bond, sewage worker from Plimmerton. Photo / Getty Images

His name is Bond. James Bond.

And as fans worldwide celebrate 50 years of the British superspy movies, a Kiwi namesake is loving every minute.

James Bond - a 65-year-old sewage works manager from Plimmerton, near Wellington - was only 15 when Sean Connery put the debonair secret agent on the map with Dr No, the first of the smash hit films.

New Zealand's Bond has been lapping it up since.

"Before the first movie, no one gave my name a second thought and neither did I," he said this week. "After that, when I introduced myself as James Bond people would just stare at me in disbelief.

"At first it was a good laugh, but when I want a bit of peace I use my middle name of Hadley."

Down the years, Bond has been hassled at airports and banks when trying to pay bills or book flights. He also once fell foul of the law when a cop wouldn't believe who he was.

"I had reported a minor theft but when I told the officer my name he shut his notebook because he thought I was taking the mickey.

"I have also had some very strange looks and questions from Customs officers at airports. And bank tellers just laugh because they think I am kidding them on."

James wed his own Bond girl, Anne, seven years after Dr No was released. The couple have three children and eight grandkids.

Anne is not impressed when her man takes advantage of his famous moniker.

She erased a home answerphone greeting that featured Shirley Bassey's Diamonds are Forever while her husband delivered a message in his best Sean Connery voice.

"James once told me I should feel lucky to be married to the original Bond," Anne joked. "But I told him that 007 is supposed to be tall, dark and handsome, so something must have gone wrong."

Plimmerton's James Bond doesn't get too many glamorous missions while overseeing a sewage plant in nearby Porirua.

"I prefer to describe myself as being in the 'used food industry'," he quipped.

James' favourite Bond is Connery. The current Bond, Daniel Craig, is next up in Skyfall, the 23rd flick in the series due for release in October.

- Herald on Sunday

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf03 at 21 Dec 2014 03:38:09 Processing Time: 323ms