The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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For 007 quartet, it was time to Bond

London, Nov 19 (Reuters): For a suave quartet of OO7s it was the perfect chance to Bond — a sparkling premiere marking the 40th anniversary of the world’s most famous spy.

And Queen Elizabeth got to meet the secret agents who had been fighting On Her Majesty’s Secret Service for four decades.

Last night’s launch of Die Another Day turned into a showbusiness celebration of cinema’s most successful franchise — 20 James Bond films in four decades.

For Pierce Brosnan, playing the debonair agent for the fourth time was a pleasure and a privilege: “It is a really fine film and I am very proud of it.”

The Irish actor loves the role so much that he has already said yes to another Bond adventure. Brosnan is the first to acknowledge his debt to Sean Connery, the first, and to some, the one and only screen Bond.

“I learned from Connery,” Brosnan said of the evergreen star. Connery could not attend the premiere because of previous film commitments, but the other Bonds turned up at London’s Royal Albert Hall to party and celebrate movie Number 20.

For Bond veterans Roger Moore, George Lazenby and Timothy Dalton, it was the perfect chance to reflect on their years playing one of the great movie icons, always a dab hand with guns, gadgets and girls.

For Dalton, the Bond memories were happy ones. “It was wonderful. I had great fun. I enjoyed every minute of it,” he said.

And Queen Elizabeth clearly enjoyed a chance to meet her undercover agents amid the flashing bulbs of paparazzi.

Pop superstar Madonna, who sings the theme song and plays a cameo role in Die Another Day, was determined to get the protocol just right and not embarrass her British film director husband Guy Ritchie.

Madonna, demurely dressed in a knee-length black cocktail dress, practised her curtsey in front of co-star John Cleese before her first meeting with the monarch.

The queen will soon turn out again to celebrate another great British cultural institution — next week she is off to the theatre to see Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap. Both are celebrating half-a-century at the top .

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