Forty years and twenty films later and it all came together at the Royal Premier of Die Another Day and the subsequent After Party.
Even those ignorant of the films premier knew something special was happening with part of Kensington Gore blocked to traffic and a good portion of it lined with a red carpet, it is was said that there was more red carpet at the Royal Premier then is present at the Academy Awards. Of course, this was by no means all that by-stands were to expect. The Royal Albert Hall had been decked out in hanging icicles, with a blue light and moving floating 007 logos beamed from Hyde Park completing the effect. The night’s air was undoubtedly charged with the excitement of what was about to occur.
Maud Adams, Lois Chiles, Timothy Dalton, Richard Keil, Roger Moore, Shirley Eaton, John Barry, Monty Norman, Dana Broccoli, Madonna, Pierce Brosnan, Rosamund Pike, Halle Berry; the list of guests continued on. Those lucky enough to have tickets to the premier were allowed beyond the barricades closer to where the celebrity guests gathered near the entrance. Others were able to watch the arrivals, and subsequent interviews, on three large screens; the same footage was shown on the screen on the Royal Albert Hall for the attendees’ guests who had already taken their seats.
Outside the Royal Albert Hall
Inside the Hall there was a chance for Bond fans to catch up with each other in the various function rooms. Depending on ones ticket the available food and beverages ranged from caviar and champagne to white or red wine.
Yet, despite previous opportunities, it wasn’t, perhaps, till after the majority of attendees were seated shortly after 7:00pm that the realisation of the event first became apparent for those present. Those seated scanned the theatre attempting to spot those people whom they knew, or at least recognised.
The screen dimmed, Her Majesty entered the Hall to the sound of fanfare from the Yeoman of the Guard and the audience rose to their feet.
Soon after Producers Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli took their positions and welcome to the stage Die Another Day’s main cast members. Toby Stephens was asked to present the Royal Address, not forgetting to mention that James Bond had been in service for Her Majesty for 40 years.
Some several applauses later and the 20th Century Fox logo appeared, followed by the MGM logo and finally the ever familiar James Bond gun-barrel. Die Another Day had begun.
The audiences’ response was brilliant. Numerous applauses could be heard and all of the films ‘one liners’ were greeted with laughter.
The end credits rolled and once again the auditorium was filled with applause. As the audience was reminded that James Bond Will Return two people in the Balcony Circle started one final applause.
Outside some guests were lucky enough to use the same exit as some of the cast and crew members, and even some of the other celebrities associated with the James Bond films overtime. Rosamund Pike, Colin Salmon, Timothy Dalton, Vic Armstrong and Monty Norman were just a few who were gracious enough to sign autographs. All, especially Tamahori, were eager to listen to feedback on the film. Tamahori was more than pleased when one fan declared they’d like to see him to return to helm Bond 21.
From there, it was across to Hyde Park for those lucky enough to be able to attend the Premiers After Party.
The large white marquee was specially decked out with themes from the film. Tables and chairs that had been featured in the Ice Palace could be found around the room, and in reference to the films ‘diamond’ sub-plot tables were scattered with fake diamonds and other such stones.
The ice feature at one of the two bars
The two bars, both with prominent ‘ice’ features, were serving Tynant Water and Dom Perignon. The centre water feature with ‘spray’ upon which the 007 and Die Another Day logos were projected.
The laser light water feature
Some of the cast and crew left the event early, no doubt with subsequent world wide premiers in mind. Others seemed more than happy to stay until the early hours of the morning.
And at 3:00am on Tuesday the 19th of November, the official celebrations for Die Another Day in Great Britain concluded, and those still in Hyde Park headed home, but not before collecting an indiscreet black bag filled with gifts from just a few of the films sponsors.
Photos © 2002 Daniel Dykes