Daily Mail

Per­ils of be­ing a 007 stunt­man


QUES­TION With all the violence in the James Bond films over 50 years, has any­one been se­ri­ously in­jured dur­ing the making of a Bond film? A trAgic accident be­fell em­i­nent cam­era­man Johnny Jor­dan dur­ing the film­ing of 1967’s You Only Live twice.

in the se­quence in­volv­ing Bond’s au­t­o­gyro, Lit­tle Nel­lie, be­ing at­tacked by two Bell 47 he­li­copters, one came too close to Jor­dan’s he­li­copter and a blade sliced into his foot, which was dan­gling over the side.

He took pic­tures of the all-but- sev­ered limb as the he­li­copter de­scended, be­cause it was the only thing he could think of to do.

A team of mi­cro-sur­geons were able to reat­tach the foot, but he opted to have it re­moved on his re­turn to Lon­don from Ja­pan. Jor­dan took to the air again, some­times ac­cess­ing very cramped spa­ces by re­mov­ing his pros­thetic limb.

He was an aerial cam­era­men for the 1969 Bat­tle Of Bri­tain film, but lost his life the next year when he fell 2,000ft from a B25 bomber while film­ing catch 22, his abil­ity to bal­ance hav­ing been re­duced.

Tony Beard, Bil­ler­icay, Es­sex. i’ve just fin­ished read­ing roger Moore’s au­to­bi­og­ra­phy My Word is My Bond and he tells the story of his stunt dou­ble, Martin grace, who suf­fered a ter­ri­ble accident.

Film­ing was tak­ing place along the Nene val­ley rail­way near Peter­bor­ough and Martin had to move along the out­side of the train from one car­riage to an­other.

He had re­hearsed the ma­noeu­vre and checked along the track to en­sure the line was clear of ob­struc­tions but when it came to the ac­tual film­ing, as Moore re­lates, ‘soon af­ter set­ting off the train was called to a halt for some tech­ni­cal rea­son.

‘When film­ing re­sumed, they didn’t restart from the be­gin­ning of the pre- checked length of track, which meant they over­shot the length of track that Martin had in­spected. the train hur­tled along and Martin hit a huge con­crete post, side-on.

‘i can’t imag­ine the num­ber of bones it shat­tered, but Martin con­tin­ued hold­ing onto the side of the train for dear life as, had he let go, he would have fallen un­der the wheels. He was in hos­pi­tal for months.’

Moore goes on to say he vis­ited Martin in hos­pi­tal and thought he would never work again, but praised him for the fact that sheer de­ter­mi­na­tion and a fit­ness regime got him back to work rel­a­tively quickly.

Moore him­self had a pretty nasty accident when driv­ing a jet boat in Live And Let Die. th­ese boats work on high-pres­sure jets of wa­ter be­ing pushed out of the back of the boat to pro­pel it for­ward and if you run out of fuel you lose your steer­ing, which is what hap­pened to Moore. He went straight into a wooden boathouse, flew out of the boat and straight into a wall. He suf­fered cracked teeth and a badly twisted knee.

Gareth Grif­fith, Blyth, Notts. WHiLe film­ing the high-speed chase in the bob­sled run in For Your eyes Only (1981), the four-man bob­sled hit a tree and Paolo rigon, a young stunt­man in side was killed.

Dur­ing film­ing of the 15-minute car chase which opened A Quan­tum Of So­lace (2008), Aris comni­nos, an ex­pe­ri­enced greek stunt­man, col­lided with a lorry and crashed into a wall. He was play­ing a vil­lain chas­ing James Bond’s As­ton Martin DB5 in an Alfa romeo 159 along a curv­ing road by the shore of Lake garda, italy.

comni­nos had worked on a pre­vi­ous Bond movie, tomorrow Never Dies, as well as Saving Pri­vate ryan and the Bourne Ul­ti­ma­tum, for which he won a Screen Ac­tors guild Award. He suf­fered a frac­tured cra­nium. He has re­cov­ered, but hasn’t ap­peared in any films since.

Ge­orge Pull­man, Lon­don E4. QUES­TION I took a Con­corde flight from Lon­don Heathrow to Bahrain on De­cem­ber 19, 1979. Is it pos­si­ble to track down the plane through records to ob­tain its reg­is­tra­tion num­ber so that I can visit the air­craft? cON­cOrDe en­tered Air France and Bri­tish Air­ways transat­lantic ser­vice in 1976. twenty con­corde air­frames were pro­duced, but only 14 flew com­mer­cially.

With a crew of nine, con­corde could fly at 1,350mph (2,150kph) at an al­ti­tude of 60,000ft (18,181m), high enough for its 100 pas­sen­gers to see the earth’s cur­va­ture.

Only one con­corde flew the South-east Asia route in the time frame given. On De­cem­ber 9, 1977, BA and Sin­ga­pore Air­lines started a thrice-weekly ser­vice be­tween Heathrow and Sin­ga­pore — Paya Le­bar via Bahrain, a nine-hour jour­ney. the tech­ni­cal crew and oper­a­tions were sup­plied by Bri­tish Air­ways with cabin crew split be­tween the two com­pa­nies.

BA had been de­nied per­mis­sion by the in­dian gov­ern­ment to fly su­per­sonic over their coun­try, which con­corde was forced to avoid, adding more flight time and in­creas­ing the fuel consumptio­n.

the con­corde as­signed to the Sin­ga­pore route was g-BOAD. it was re­painted with the Sin­ga­pore Air­lines liv­ery on its left side, BA’s was kept on the right side.

the ser­vice was with­drawn on De­cem­ber 13, 1977 af­ter only three re­turn flights, be­cause of com­plaints from the Malaysian gov­ern­ment about the su­per­sonic boom over the Straits of Malacca.

On Jan­uary 24, 1979, the ser­vice was re­sumed with new routes avoid­ing Malaysia and Sin­ga­pore take-offs out to sea.

the ser­vice was ended for good on Novem­ber 1, 1980, mainly be­cause of fall­ing traf­fic on the route, which was re­port­edly los­ing around £2 mil­lion a year.

g-BOAD later set the fastest At­lantic cross­ing by any con­corde on Fe­bru­ary 7, 1996, tak­ing off from New York JFK and land­ing at Lon­don Heathrow two hours, 52 min­utes, and 59 sec­onds later. g-BOAD also clocked up more air time than any other con­corde, at 23,397 hours. it de­parted from Heathrow for the fi­nal time on Novem­ber 10, 2003, and flew to JFK air­port in New York.

For a while it was stored at the Floyd Ben­nett Field in Brook­lyn, where its nose cone was knocked off by a truck in June 2008. it was re­paired and is now at the in­trepid Sea, Air & Space Mu­seum, NY.

Adam Marsh, Fare­ham, Hants. QUES­TION Who were con­sid­ered the great­est ath­letes of the orig­i­nal (An­cient Greek) Olympic era? FUr­tHer to the ear­lier an­swer, for women, the most im­por­tant ath­lete in the an­cient world was cynisca, a princess of Sparta.

the an­cient Olympic games were al­most en­tirely male- only and women were for­bid­den even to set foot in the main sta­dium at Olympia, where run­ning events and com­bat sports were held.

Women were al­lowed to en­ter only the eques­trian events — but only by own­ing and train­ing the horses. cynisca em­ployed men and her team at the Olympics won in the four-horse char­iot rac­ing twice, in 396 Bc and again in 392 Bc.

cynisca was hon­oured by hav­ing a bronze statue of a char­iot and horses, a char­i­o­teer and a statue of her­self in the tem­ple of Zeus in Olympia.

Emme Conta, Leeds.

IS THERE a ques­tion to which you have al­ways wanted to know the an­swer? Or do you know the an­swer to a ques­tion raised here? Send your ques­tions and an­swers to: Charles Legge, An­swers To Cor­re­spon­dents, Daily Mail, 2 Derry Street, Lon­don, W8 5TT. You can also fax them to 01952 780111 or you can email them to charles. legge@dai­ly­mail.co.uk. A se­lec­tion will be pub­lished but we are not able to en­ter into in­di­vid­ual cor­re­spon­dence.

 ??  ?? Risky: The Lit­tle Nel­lie gyro flown by Johnny Jor­dan in You Only Live Twice
Risky: The Lit­tle Nel­lie gyro flown by Johnny Jor­dan in You Only Live Twice
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