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Moore's heartwarming meeting with child

Press Association logoPress Association 24/05/2017 Francesca Gosling

A lifelong James Bond fan has paid a heartfelt tribute to Sir Roger Moore, telling how the late star pretended to be the real 007 when he met the actor as a child.

TV writer Marc Haynes, now 41, described him as a "tremendous man" for the attention he paid to a young fan - and then again in another chance meeting years later.

He told how his seven-year-old self was thrilled when the actor asked him to help keep his Bond identity secret to avoid being traced by villains.

Haynes shared the story via Facebook after the news broke on Tuesday that his movie hero had died aged 89.

"As an seven-year-old in about 1983, in the days before First Class Lounges at airports, I was with my granddad in Nice Airport and saw Roger Moore sitting at the departure gate, reading a paper," he wrote.

"I told my granddad I'd just seen James Bond and asked if we could go over so I could get his autograph.

"As charming as you'd expect, Roger asks my name and duly signs the back of my plane ticket, a fulsome note full of best wishes.

"I'm ecstatic, but as we head back to our seats, I glance down at the signature. It's hard to decipher it but it definitely doesn't say 'James Bond'.

"I tell my grandad he's signed it wrong, that he's put someone else's name ... I remember staying by our seats and my granddad saying 'He says you've signed the wrong name, he says your name is James Bond'.

"He leant over, looked from side to side, raised an eyebrow and in a hushed voice said to me, "I have to sign my name as 'Roger Moore' because otherwise ... Blofeld might find out I was here.

"He asked me not to tell anyone that I'd just seen James Bond, and he thanked me for keeping his secret. I went back to our seats, my nerves absolutely jangling with delight.

"My granddad asked me if he'd signed 'James Bond'. No, I said. I'd got it wrong. I was working with James Bond now."

Haynes went on to become a writer and producer and at 30 took part in a scriptwriting project that involved children's charity UNICEF and one of its key ambassadors, Sir Roger.

"He was completely lovely and while the cameramen were setting up, I told him in passing the story of when I met him," Haynes said.

"He was happy to hear it, and he had a chuckle and said 'Well, I don't remember but I'm glad you got to meet James Bond'.

"And then he did something so brilliant.

"After the filming, he walked past me in the corridor, heading out to his car - but as he got level, he paused, looked both ways, raised an eyebrow and in a hushed voice said, 'Of course I remember our meeting in Nice. But I didn't say anything in there, because those cameramen - any one of them could be working for Blofeld'.

"I was as delighted at 30 as I had been at seven. What a man. What a tremendous man."

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