I was involved with "An Evening with Roger Moore" at the British Film Institute yesterday. The evening was split into two sessions and looked at Sir Roger’s work in television, for the most part. So in the first section we looked at some of Mr Moore’s classic TV perfomances and in the second Roger chatted about that period of his life. Well, Roger is a good interview and, unlike on Mr Ross’s television show last week, when allowed to talk he has some fascinating stories to tell. His memory for detail at 81 (today! Happy Birthday, Sir Roger) is quite astounding. But for me the highlight by a country mile was watching episodes of The Saint and The Persuaders on the large cinema screen. Great, great, television, tremendous scripts and larger than life performances fron Roger Moore and his cohort in the latter, Tony Curtis. These programmes are so evocative of watching them in my youth so I find it hard to be critical but I just don’t think you can make television like this anymore.
There was talk a little while ago of reviving The Saint for a 4th (?) attempt on television, if they do then they must do it well. It is a shame that Leslie Charteris’ books are out of print and that haloed stick man is seen so little these days but "The Saint" is more than just a brand and a logo. If they remake it they must do so with an eye on Charteris unlike the Val Kilmer film of a few years ago which took the name and the image but none of the content. As I personally own all of the Charteris’ books and helped administrate his charity "The Saint Club" for a couple of years, I have a vested interest in this. Similarly, with The Persuaders but with that title there is no guide book as it was created for the televison and didn’t run long and it is perhaps permanently left alone. There was talk a heartbeat ago of a revival with Steve Coogan which sounded wretched and hopefully this has been forgotten.
So, thank you brave Sir Roger for your derring-do. It still has a place in our hearts.
Roger Moore, yesterday
and some years ago………..