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21 OCTOBER 2012
LICENCE TO THRILL WITH GEORGE LAZENBY

By: FSWL team
Published:
2012-03-24
Culture Shock Events is pleased to be able to announce our first ever James Bond convention Licence to Thrill. Joining us for this event will be Australia's own James Bond himself, George Lazenby (On Her Majesty's Secret Service) and Rachel Grant (Die Another Day).

Go and spend the day with fans of the longest running film franchise in history as the organiser sit and talk about what it was like to be Bond, James Bond.

George will be there live for people to talk to and ask all those questions you just have to have answered.

Event details:
Date: Sunday, 21st October 2012
Location: Sebel Parramatta, 350 Church Street Parramatta
Time: 10:00am - 6:00pm

About George Lazenby:
George Lazenby's first serious acting role was as James Bond in the film On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969). Lazenby is the second official actor to portray the British secret agent. It was rumoured that Lazenby had been "difficult to work with" in this project. According to Lazenby, however, the difficulties were caused by director Peter R. Hunt, who apparently refused to talk directly to him—and this in turn was caused by Lazenby (unaware of studio politics or Hunt's sensibilities) passing on a request for Hunt's friends to clear a set before filming. During the film's production, Lazenby's manager, Ronan O'Rahilly, talked him into refusing a seven-movie contract on the grounds that the Bond character was out of touch with the times. Unsurprisingly, Lazenby describes this as the biggest mistake of his life.

As a former commando, expert skier, expert martial artist with multiple black belts, accomplished horseman, motorcycle racer, car racer, and by having the ability to act many still consider him the quintessential James Bond; however, opinion of Lazenby's performance often varies greatly, as some view him as the worst of the actors to play 007. Likewise, feelings about the film usually vary greatly as well. From a commercial perspective On Her Majesty's Secret Service paled in comparison to the previous Bond film You Only Live Twice and the later Diamonds Are Forever (both featuring Connery as Bond); this has been partly attributed to a poor publicity campaign.

Critical response to On Her Majesty's Secret Service remains sharply divided. Many fans, perhaps especially fans of Fleming's original novels, regard it as one of the best Bond films. Other critics name it as one of the lesser Bond films. Nevertheless it is widely considered one of the best and most faithful adaptations of Ian Fleming's original novels.

Lazenby has portrayed Bond several times over the years in numerous parodies and unofficial 007 roles, most notably the 1983 TV movie The Return of the Man from U.N.C.L.E. and an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, titled "Diamonds Aren't Forever".

Despite starring in On Her Majesty's Secret Service and 1977's The Kentucky Fried Movie (the combined gross earnings of which exceeded $100 million worldwide in the 1970s, then the standard establishing an actor as a box office success), Lazenby's acting career did not flourish. One notable TV role came in the BBC's Play For Today series in 1973, with Lazenby starring in Roger Smith's The Operation.

In 1973, Lazenby was set to work in Hong Kong with Bruce Lee. A planned meeting with Lee and Raymond Chow to discuss a movie project for the Golden Harvest film Game of Death collapsed after Lee's sudden death, although Lazenby would still go on to make three of the four films he signed to do with Lee in Hong Kong, The Shrine of Ultimate Bliss (1974), The Man from Hong Kong (1975) (also known as The Dragon Flies), and A Queen's Ransom (1976). Lazenby was only featured with archive footage when Game of Death was finally released in 1978, after a five-year delay caused by Lee's death while it was still in production.

Lazenby also made a guest appearance on the popular TV series Superboy, playing Jor-El, Superboy's biological father, during the show's second season in 1990. He appeared with Sylvia Kristel in several new Emmanuelle films in the 1990s, many of which appeared on cable TV.

Lazenby's autobiography, The Other Fella, is scheduled to be released in hardcover by Century in 2012, the year of James Bond's 50th feature film anniversary.

About Rachel Grant:
Rachel Grant has worked extensively as an actress in film and TV and is most notable for her role as Bond Girl Peaceful-Fountains-of-Desire in the James Bond film Die Another Day (2002). Further credits include Until Death with Jean Claude Van Damme, an assassin in The Tournament with Robert Carlyle and body double to Angelina Jolie in Tomb Raider. Recently, Rachel won Best Actress and Best fight awards at the Shockfest Film Festival in Los Angeles for her performance in the critically acclaimed short film Red Princess Blues.

Rachel's television career began in 2000, when she debuted as the hot new host of the Sci-Fi Channel's Friday night segment in the UK and Europe, becoming Sci-fi's most popular host and highest-rated show. She also appeared regularly as art and travel host on Cathay Pacific in-flight entertainment, visiting some of Europe's most well-known landmarks, museums and art galleries.

Travel has always been part and parcel of Rachel's career. She regularly writes for Asia's leading travel magazine Travelife, as well as Monday magazine and has her own column "Rachel Writes" in Only The Good. Her early profession as a Performing Artist took her all over the world. Rachel has already travelled to over 35 countries and counting! She has explored some of the wildest and most desolate places on our planet in pursuit of rare knowledge, wild flora and fauna, exotic hidden cultures, and for sheer excitement of all the senses!

Rachel has trekked the edge of the world's most perfectly shaped cone, the deadly Mayon volcano in the Philippines, hiked the rainforests of the Amazon, communed with the Hourani tribe in Ecuador and ventured deep underground to ancient Mayan sacrificial caves in Guatemala. She has experienced the "naked communion" of Japanese bathing rituals in volcanic springs of Mount Fuji, swam with hammerheads in the Galapagos, witnessed lions mating in the Mara, scuba-dived through sunken warships in the South China Sea, and flamenco-danced her way through "La Feria de Sevilla" in Spain. The list goes on!

Rachel's extraordinary "appetite" for adventure, coupled with her intriguing personality puts her where natives have claimed her as a local! Rachel has enjoyed: the "Royal Rat" delicacy of Belize, traditional fried tarantulas of Cambodia, sipped fresh blood from a live goat with the Masai tribe, chewed Japanese crispy locust bars and regularly devours her favourite snack - the Philippine street food balut, a fertilized duck egg complete with embryo.

Another facet of Rachel is her interest in traditional weaponry and martial arts. This year, Rachel has graced the cover of two leading international martial arts magazines where she talks of origins and history of various ancient Far Eastern weapons from nun-chakus to the single sword.

Editor's note:
For other Bond events featured on From Sweden with Love, click here.

Visit the official website for more information:
www.cultureshockevents.com/index.php/events/licence-to-thrill/

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#james_bond_event

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