Centenary 2008

In 2008, one hundred years after Ian Fleming’s birth, a year-long programme of charitable events celebrated his life, his legacy as a writer, and the amazing impact that his work has had not only in Britain but all around the world.

To mark the centenary, Ian Fleming Publications commissioned a new James Bond adventure from acclaimed author Sebastian Faulks. Devil May Care was published on the 100th anniversary of Ian Fleming’s birth (28th May 1908) and went straight to the top of the UK bestseller list.

Interest in Fleming’s life had never been greater. Royal Mail stamps in his honour, issued in January, sold out faster than those of the Beatles in 2007. And over 100,000 people visited the exhibition at the Imperial War Museum, For Your Eyes Only – Ian Fleming and James Bond, which opened in April 2008. A second exhibition, Bond Bound: Ian Fleming and the Art of Cover Design, was opened at the Fleming Collection in Mayfair, London and later travelled to Edinburgh, New York and LA. The accompanying book to this exhibition can be found here.

On 5th October 2008, stars from stage and screen gathered at the prestigious London Palladium Theatre to pay tribute to Ian Fleming with a one off event to raise money for the British Heart Foundation. The Story of James Bond: A Tribute to Ian Fleming kicked off with a personal word from Lucy Fleming herself before hosts Stephen Fry and Joanna Lumley took the audience on a magical journey through the lives of Ian Fleming and James Bond, a life and career which were remarkably intertwined, offering even die-hard Bond fans the chance to discover something new! Readings by Jeremy Irons who played Ian Fleming, Toby Stephens who played James Bond, Samantha Bond, Rory Kinnear, Lesley Manville, Joely Richardson, Sebastian Faulks, Gemma Arterton, Rosamund Pike, Sir Roger Moore and Daniel Craig bought Fleming’s words to life including material never heard before.

Since the publication of Casino Royale in 1953, over 100 million Bond novels have been sold. In 2008, to mark Fleming’s centenary, Queen Anne Press, published a special edition collection of his complete works. Finished to a very high standard by Shepherds, Sangorski & Sutcliffe it included a new volume, Talk of the Devil, containing little known articles and other writing. One of these sets sold at a special James Bond auction at Christie’s on 5th October 2012, raising £91,000 for Parkinsons UK.