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Gayson rides in Aston for 007 promo


Eunice Gayson was the original Bond girl for Sean Connery's 007

Eunice Gayson was the original Bond girl for Sean Connery's 007

Eunice Gayson was the original Bond girl for Sean Connery's 007

Celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of James Bond have got under way as a 007-day tour was launched in some of the memorable locations used in the films.

Eunice Gayson, the first ever Bond girl, acted as "Bond bearer" when she kicked off the week-long tour at Eilean Donan Castle in Wester Ross, in the Scottish Highlands - where part of The World Is Not Enough was shot.

She set a digital timer on a golden briefcase containing the first copy of Bond 50 Blu-ray, a boxset with all 22 of the films to be released next Monday to mark the series' half-century.

She then travelled in Bond's Aston Martin DBS, featured in Quantum Of Solace in 2008, to Lochgilphead in Argyll where scenes in From Russia With Love were filmed.

Eunice played Bond's girlfriend Sylvia Trench in the first two films in the franchise: Dr No in 1962 and From Russia With Love a year later (opposite Sir Sean Connery). The pair met over a casino table in Dr No, at which Bond says the famous words "the name's Bond, James Bond" for the first time.

Barrachuile, a hill a few miles from Lochgilphead, was used as the setting for the helicopter chase scene in From Russia With Love, which sees Bond shoot down the enemy Spectre aircraft from behind a rock.

The Aston Martin and Blu-ray boxset will travel the length of Britain, visiting other memorable Bond locations such as Stoke Park and the Eden Project in Cornwall. It stops at HMV in Oxford Street, London for its release on Monday.

Eunice said of her Bond role: "I was supposed to play the original Miss Moneypenny but of course I couldn't because of the show (she was starring in The Sound Of Music). When I was offered it I thought 'oh no'.

"So then they wrote the little part of Sylvia Trench. But I had the honour then on the first day's shoot of the first film Dr No of asking (Bond) to identify who he was. And of course his reply was 'the name's Bond, James Bond'. So I had that lovely scene with Sean that I wouldn't have had if I was Miss Moneypenny."

PA Media