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The next Bond celeb to be interviewed is Graham Rye: long-time Bond fan, author and publisher. Graham chats to us about his long association with the character of Bond, his latest book, 007 Magazine and a host of other Bond-related topics. We hope you enjoy this exclusive interview.

Graham Rye reads Thunderball at age 11
1. What was your first experience with James Bond?
When my Dad took me in 1962 to see Dr. No at our local Odeon cinema in Southall – it blew me away! There certainly hadn’t been anything like it before in cinema, and certainly not on TV.

2. What advice would you give to anyone hoping to set up a genre magazine such as 007 MAGAZINE?
Don’t! Not unless you have a LOT of money behind you and you don’t mind having no time for your family and friends this side of retirement, if indeed you ever do retire!

3. How did you go about doing your research for The James Bond Girls?
As the publishers Boxtree gave me hardly any time or budget at all to work with I’m afraid the first edition of the book failed to turn out anything like I had originally intended. Therefore none of the research included any contemporary interviews with any of the actresses who’d appeared in the Bond series. Not a happy experience, nor was it very financially rewarding!

4. Do you have any plans to write any other Bond-related books? If so, what and why?

Graham Rye stand by his book The Bond Girls
No. I think the subject has more or less been done to death in the book format, and besides, one cannot earn a significant amount of money from it to warrant the creative input. In the mid-nineties I originally put the idea to EON Productions for a book I would write and design titled ‘The Art of James Bond’, but at that time they weren’t interested in moving forward with the project. However, 007 MAGAZINE OnLine will keep me very busy in all kinds of areas, hopefully, for some time to come, so I think that will be much more interesting overall than any one book could ever be. And working in a new medium with my publication is something I’m very excited about.

5. With Casino Royale, it is alleged and as seen in the latest trailer, it seems that the infamous gunbarrel scene, which usually begins a Bond film, will now feature in a different position. What are your thoughts on this?
The James Bond gunbarrel sequence taking place in a toilet? I think that speaks volumes; more than anything I could say here!

6. Can you describe the process you use to edit, design and publish 007 MAGAZINE?

Graham in his office

Graham's desk

Graham stands in his archives room with a lifetime of Bond collectables
It’s not exactly rocket science! I usually ask a number of people to write something a little different on an aspect of the James Bond phenomenon and then try and produce that article to look as visually interesting and exciting to my eye as possible, hoping that if I like it mostly everyone else will as well. You can please some of your readers some of the time, but pleasing all of them all of the time is an impossibility. However, many of the people still subscribing to 007 MAGAZINE in 2006 have been doing so since the 1980s, so we must be doing something right!

The format I try and follow for each issue is to include two heavyweight articles surrounded by some visual ‘fluff’ that is different and new to most readers, but hopefully still interesting and entertaining. As I own a substantial archive of James Bond imagery, there is always something I can draw on to use in each and every issue that will be of unique interest to the majority of Bond fans. I’m always on the look out for new writers who can bring something new and fresh to 007 MAGAZINE, so if anyone out there in cyberspace feels they’re up to the challenge, please contact me at editor@007magazine.co.uk.

I think what some of our past critics haven’t understood is that with every five years that pass, a five-year-old becomes a ten-year-old, and is then at the age when they’re more likely to become aware of the James Bond films and character, it’s all new to them, and to slightly older kids. That’s why some of the articles and images that have appeared in back issues of 007 MAGAZINE will eventually appear in the pay-to-view archive area of our website. It will be all new to them, and hopefully just as enlightening and entertaining to these new generations of Bond fans.

It seems amazing to me that it won’t be very long now before a whole generation of James Bond fans will never even have seen a Pierce Brosnan Bond movie in the cinema! It’s about time someone at the SONY/MGM had the ‘bright idea’ of putting the Bonds back into the cinemas globally in digitally cleaned up versions as double-bill seasons, where they belong, and should be seen. They’d clean up! I can just see the poster campaign copy lines now:

If you’ve only ever seen them on TV
you’ve never seen them at all!

Double the danger! Double the women! Double the gadgets!
Double the excitement with double Double-O-Seven!

Sean Connery
as James Bond 007
Pierce Brosnan
as James Bond 007

7. How has the 007 MAGAZINE changed over the years and where do you see it going in the future?

Desmond Llewelyn stops by Graham Rye's office in 1994
Well I started producing 007 MAGAZINE back in the bad old days, in the 1980s, when it had to be pasted up from galleys of typesetting and all the pictures had to be screened for reproduction using a very laborious and time-consuming photographic process. Thank heavens that’s all in the past. The idea of labouring in a darkroom in the height of summer in temperatures that often exceeded 90 degrees Fahrenheit until 2:00am in the morning are not times I look back on with any nostalgia whatsoever!!! Thank God for the computer age. Now everything is so much easier and cleaner – and cooler! Not to mention more cost-effective.

As we gained more subscribers, and more finance, so 007 MAGAZINE improved in print quality until we got to a point where we were able to use colour throughout. It’s always been a very expensive publication to produce, particularly because to me quality is everything. And I’ve always believed, and still do, that if you’re producing anything related to the James Bond character it should reflect the class, style, and quality – and the expensiveness – of the character himself. Sadly a lot of people out there just don’t understand this ethos, and probably never will.

Now in 2006, it has become necessary because of financial restraints, and because I believe this is where the future of much kinds of publishing is moving – to develop the publication into 007 MAGAZINE OnLine. This has been kind of a natural evolution in a way, and I’m sure many big name publishers out there are going to catch on to this way forward in the next 5 to 10 years, particularly as it’s going to save them a truckload of money!

Graham poses with Albert and Dana Broccoli
With paper prices rising drastically every year it won’t be too long before the law of diminishing returns comes into play. And looking at it purely from an eco-friendly angle, look at all the trees that will be saved. Just about everyone reading this must be sick to death with the amount of junk mail that is either posted through their letterboxes or falls out of a magazine purchased from a newsstand. Mostly complete rubbish that ends up in the trash can in the blink of an eye! Paper = trees. Simple as that! One day it WILL have to end.

007 MAGAZINE has always prided itself on being the innovator within Bond fandom, and I believe that our online version of the magazine will once again show that we remain the frontrunners in the game. We’re trying something that’s never been done before with 007 MAGAZINE OnLine, by designing a website that attempts to meld the layout style of a paper publication with what special features only a website can offer. The photographs when viewed on the 007 MAGAZINE website have a reproduction quality that no printed paper publication can ever come close to matching! If your readers would like to see what I mean concerning vibrant picture quality, then currently, free of charge, they can take out free tour..

Graham Rye and Derrek Meddings pose in front of the GoldenEye satellite
I’ve read some negative reactions on some of the newsgroups concerning 007 MAGAZINE becoming an online publication, usually expressing the opinion that with so much relating to James Bond on the Internet for free why should they or why would anyone pay for a subscription to 007 MAGAZINE OnLine? Well, the answer quite simply to that is – there is very little of any real worth to view on the Internet relating to James Bond, and 007 MAGAZINE OnLine offers content unavailable anywhere else on the Internet. We are a unique presence on the World Wide Web, and are also the world’s foremost James Bond archival source for the media and 007 enthusiasts alike.

We’re not a non-commercial news gathering Bond fan service website run by unpaid enthusiastic amateur fans like the good people who run CommanderBond.net – and that other one, MI6. They’re now the two unchallenged leaders in this area, particularly as the excellent, and once Ian Fleming Foundation-affiliated, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang has now gone the way of all flesh. All these organisations totally rely on voluntary input from their contributors, and when this volunteer spirit fails to maintain itself, for whatever reason, the organisation dries up and blows away. 007 MAGAZINE is a commercial limited company that has overheads to pay for the creation of its product like any other commercial organisation, which in turn is purchased by its subscribers/customers. In addition to this 007 MAGAZINE & Archive has cost me many hundreds of thousands of pounds to assemble over the last four decades. So not unnaturally, it would be rather nice to see a return on my investment.

A word from the interviewer: I'd like to say a big thank you to Graham Rye for completing this wonderful, in depth interview. I'm sorry it's taken so long to be published, Graham, but it's finally up! Thank you for being so patient.

Furthermore, we recommend you visit Graham's official website, which also happens to be the official site for his magazine '007 MAGAZINE'.

Stayed tuned to our interview section for more exclusive interviews with Bond celebrities. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to visit the MI6 Debriefing Room and put forward your ideas on possible interviewees. Also, guest interviewers are welcome.

Questions written by Adam Farrington-Williams

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