In the days way back yonder, before I retired in style and became a fully paid up member of the Old And Proud club, my work colleagues and I were much exercised by rumours that the latest Bond movie, Skyfall, had been
filmed partly in Bognor Regis.
So today, attending the Monday Matinee of the film in question (£4.50 plus coffee and a packet of ginger nuts - it's worth being Old And Proud, you know) I decided
to look out for possible scenes which might just have been shot in Britain's sunniest sea-side resort.
Well, Daniel Craig might have been having a tough time on screen but so was I in the rear stalls.
Not only was I on Bognor Regis Watch but I also had to keep Mr B awake - he does have a tendency to drop off, however exciting and / or loud the film we are watching may be. Mission Impossible? I hear you ask.
On screen, 007 was battling it out with a Fearsome Foe on the top of a train. I don't think I am giving anything away here, because this particular scene has been on all the trailers. But could it possibly have been atop the
10.39 train from Bognor Regis to London? I fear not. Just at the very moment when things became particularly tense, when Bond has the Fearsome Foe by the throat, the train would have had to stop at Barnham. Or Ford. Or Three Bridges.
But here comes a beach scene. Sand, sunset, rippling water, beachside bar - all very seductive. Can't have been Bognor Regis, though. No pier.
I thought I had it cracked. M and 007 are careering along in the type of car only spies and Government Ministers drive these days - M turns to Bond and enquires, tetchily: "Where the hell are we going, Bond?" Or words to that effect. Well,
I nearly jumped out of my seat: "Bognor Regis!" I thought, triumphantly. I had to stop myself shouting it out, I was that excited. But no, it was Scotland. How very predictable.
I gave up looking for
glimpses of Bognor Regis at this point as I had to concentrate all my efforts on my other Mission - keeping Mr B awake. I am a Past Master at this, though I haven't had any special training and I have never had the advantage of a "Q" to provide me with
helpful gadgets. My technique, developed over many years, involves judging the exact moment when Mr B starts to snuffle a bit and giving him a gentle nudge or two. Amazingly (and this must be a tribute to a great film) he stayed awake
right the way through, with only a little bit of help from me. Every time he was shaken, he stirred...
Mr Bond and me - Missions Accomplished.