Book Review: Last Man Standing – Tales from Tinsel Town


James Bond - Roger Moore

Photo credit: adamconner7 / Foter / CC BY

I’m a huge fan of Sir Roger who not only enjoyed a lengthy and successful career in show business but has worked as a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF following on from him hanging up his PPK back in the mid 1980s. Its probably fair to say that he has become a popular and well respected national treasure as he ages gracefully.

When I grew up in the 1970s and 80s Moore was a huge star; in between making the Bond movies (which I grew up watching) he also made some excellent actions movies, specially designed to watch with your Dad: Gold, Sea Wolves, North Sea Hijack, Wild Geese and Cannonball Run for example, not to mention TV series such as The Saint and my personal favourite, The Persuaders:

In his third outing as an author “Tales from Tinseltown” its clear that his off screen life was almost as interesting as what happened to him while on set. The book lives up to its title (sub-title: Last Man Standing; a quote from Frank Sinatra, ‘Who’s going to be left to turn the light off?’, Roger hopes it will be him) as its essentially Rodge relaying decades worth of anecdotes to Gareth Owen. He’s never nasty or malicious when he name checks practically every movie star from the 1950s onwards. The tales are all relayed in a lighthearted manner, along with some candid photographs. These snaps highlight Rodge modelling high fashion over the decades along with him clowning around: my personal favourite is Peter Sellers painting Rogers toenails for some forgotten reason.

The book itself is split into eight chapters:

1) The Fun – and Feisty – Leading Ladies
2) The Pinewood Years
3) Stage-struck
4) On-set Tales
5) The Good Guys (and a Few Rascals)
6) The Rat Pack
7) The Creative Geniuses
8) The Producers

From time to time Sir Roger adds a few thoughts which didn’t make it into his autobiography and the mood dips as he reminisces about friends who have died, gone to “that great cutting room in the sky” as he says but on the whole is an upbeat entertaining giggle from beginning to end. I also like the fact that Roger knows that he’s been lucky for three reasons: the secrets of his success? … he looked

‘like a hero … can remember lines and … work cheaply’.

Thankfully, Moore is very much still standing and that is something which we should be very grateful indeed; highly recommended.

Opinion: Virgin’s Unlimited Holidays Won’t Work


During a typical the working day have you ever reached a point where you feel that nothing more productive can be achieved and you may as well be at home or perhaps out with friends? Well, this subject has clearly been on Richard Branson’s mind as he has recently informed the 170 Virgin head office staff that fixed holiday rights will be done away with. What this means is that they can leave work when they like: perhaps it’s for a few hours or even a few months. The main caveat is that that they have done what is needed and their absence doesn’t cause problems for the rest of their team. However, there is a drawback as on Branson’s blog, he says (my emphasis):

It is left to the employee alone to decide if and when he or she feels like taking a few hours, a day, a week or a month off, the assumption being that they are only going to do it when they feel a hundred percent comfortable that they and their team are up to date on every project and that their absence will not in any way damage the business – or, for that matter, their careers!

Personally speaking, not once in my career have I ever felt that I was completely up to date on every single aspect of my work (have you?), so I severely doubt that Branson’s staff feel like they are on top of all their tasks. So, what does this mean in practice?

I believe employees would expend time and effort in trying to keep track on their colleagues; to name and shame people who dare to take time off for a summer vacation, when they never take more than a long weekend themselves. This highlights the nature of small teams as the members ultimately are answerable to one another, as opposed to a Manager.

At least with fixed holiday’s people understand and appreciate how much time they can justifiably take off work. For sure, what is being suggested is definitely better than the conditions you would be exposed to while working in an Amazon warehouse but although Branson may think his idea is pleasant, agreeable and open-minded the influence of your work associates can be merciless. So, in my opinion this proposal offers no real freedom from the oppression of labour; it just gives the personal who runs the company a warm feeling.

What do you think? Is this proposal a genuine innovation or not? Leave a comment below:

Photo credit: Robert Bruce Murray III // Sort Of Natural / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

VividHope Mix #9 – Top Tunes This Week

Heavy Metal!

VividHope Mix #9

Each week I try to post some tracks and videos to new or recently discovered music which is worth listening to (in my opinion). So, here we go with this weeks selection:

VividHope Mix #9 – Top Tunes This Week


Wild Beasts – Wanderlust

Karma To Burn – 57

Night Drive – Where I End And You Begin (Radiohead Cover)

Nils Frahm – For

Calibro 35 – Calling All Units To Broccolino

Awesome Videos

Glass, Irony – Prawn

Iron Butterfly – In a Iron Butterfly: In A Gadda Da Vida

Electric Wizard – SadioWitch

Exodus – Salt The Wound

Manilla Road – Flaming Metal Systems

Truckfighters – Dig You Down

Have I missed an awesome tune? If so leave a comment below and let me know what it is! Cheers :)

Photo credit: Pitch Black | Damasus Ekodimus / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)


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