“Why did you break up the encounter with my pet python?”
Along with his Morland cigarettes, Walther PPK and Savile Row suits, it seems that James Bond has another favourite brand: The National newspaper. In Carte Blanche, the latest instalment of his thrilling adventures, written by Jeffery Deaver, an American thriller writer, Chapter 26 begins:
“James Bond had his coffee and water in front of him as he sat with The National newspaper, published out of Abu Dhabi. He considered it the best newspaper in the Middle East. You could find every sort of story imaginable, from a scandal about Mumbai firemen’s inefficient uniforms to pieces about women’s rights in the Arab world to a half-page expose on a Cypriot gangster stealing the body of the island’s former president from his grave.”
This elevates The National up there with the Daily Gleaner, Jamaica’s daily paper that Bond always read when on the island. Ian Fleming, Bond’s creator, even took the name James Bond from the author of a well-respected guide to Caribbean birds.
It’s great product placement for the National, even if one wag suggested that if Bond was able to get hold of a copy of the paper in Dubai that was probably his finest achievement, up there with smashing S.M.E.R.S.H. and getting to know Pussy Galore intimately.
Much as we like the idea of Bond flicking through the pages, we can’t help thinking that a modern Bond would be more likely to be reading it on his BlackBerry (a client), along with keeping an eye on social media such as Facebook and Twitter. That way he could keep up with events in real time.
Bond is also a fan of Emirates, which he says gives a quality of service “that typified the golden age of air travel”. Rather curiously he insists on calling the carrier Air Emirates, which may upset the marketing department and may affect the author’s chances of an upgrade. He also enjoys dining at the InterContinental, as well as LuLu hypermarkets and Bentley Continental GTs… but don’t we all?
Perhaps when this book is no doubt turned into a movie, Daniel Craig will be seen luxuriating around Dubai Mall and chasing Odd Job through carriages on the metro. One thing is for sure, any car chase scene will have no shortage of willing stunt drivers.