Del's tribute to Roger Moore after becoming 007's turban tier
A Peterborough grandfather who became the official turban tier for James Bond has paid tribute to Sir Roger Moore, who died earlier this week.
Del Singh was a teenager when the producers of Octopussy - starring Sir Roger as 007 - called him up to help them during a shoot at Nene Valley Railway in 1982.
The production team needed help with turbans for villain Gobinda, played by Kabir Bedi, and they contacted Del and brother David to help, allowing the pair to be on set for four weeks.
Following the death of Sir Roger, Del (54), of Eastfield Road, said: “He was a really nice man. We had some lovely banter during the time there. He did not take himself to seriously, and did not have an ego.”
Del’s time on set came about while he was working as a DJ. He said: “I was 19-years-old and about to go off to college.
“My brother and I used to run a mobile disco. It was when Queensgate was being built, so there were a few boards about, and I have to admit we broke the law on a couple of occasions and did a bit of fly-posting.
“We got a call on the phone a bot out of the blue, with someone asking if I was a Sikh, and if I wore a turban. I didn’t know if it was a wind up, or someone trying to book the disco - but I asked what relevance it was if I was a Sikh.
“They said they were from Eon Studios filming the next James Bond film in the area, and they needed some help.
“It wasn’t well known at the time that they were filming, so we still were not sure if it was a wind up. We were asked to go to the hotel at Thorpe Wood - I think it was the Marriott at the time. They took us up to the top floor, which they had fully taken over - and then we saw Roger Moore in the corner. Then we knew it was real.
“Kabir Bedi, who was playing the villain came over. He said he did not normally wear a turban, and needed to know how to do it.
“They showed us the turban they had from when they were filming in India, and said it kept coming off.
“We had brought a proper one - my school turban, and we showed them that. Ours was so much bigger - there’s looked like a bath towel.
“They said they needed one of us on set to tie the turban every day, and offered £50 a day - but we said we only come as a pair.
“They agreed, and also bought three of four turbans from us. “We went down to the shot at Nene Valley. There were a lot of extras there who were at the back of shot, but we had access all areas. Kabir said we could use his trailer, and often Roger would be sitting outside with a cigar.
“I was a big Bond fan - the first film I saw at the cinema was Goldfinger, and I was a big movie fan as well.
“We spoke about Richard Burton, and he told us some wonderful tales.
“He said Burton was a real great actor - while he had only made it because of his eyebrows.
“We had a great laugh. He had such a dry sense of humour. No-one would stop us talking to him.
“Journalists would also ask about Sean Connery, who was returning for a couple of films. He took it really well, and said they both played Bond differently.
“We were on the set for about four and a half weeks. I was able to talk to, and hang around with the Bond girls on set too.
“After they had finished in Peterborough, they said they needed to keep the turbans to re-shoot some scenes in India, for continuity. My school turban was in the film, as they liked it as it was the right colour. Its a bit of a claim to fame.”
However, despite his time on set with Sir Roger, Del said his favourite Bond was not the Englishman.
He said: “Sean Connery will always be the best Bond for me, because he was the first one I saw. My first experience was at the Odeon, and thought it was so cool. “Roger was more suave and more dry as Bond.
“But there is not a Bond I don’t like.”
Sir Roger died on Tuesday aged 89 after a short battle with cancer.
Along with playing James Bond in seven films, he was known for his role in The Saint and The Persuaders, as well as his humanitarian work for Unicef.