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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

PAPARAZZI: Bond Veteran Warms to Spy-Free Capital




When James Bond needs someone to design his ingenious and lethal high-tech gadgets, Desmond Llewelyn is the guy he turns to.


For the past 30 years, Llewelyn has played the part of Q, a.k.a. Major Boothroyd, the master inventor for the British secret service in all the James Bond films.


But Llewelyn blew his cover last week by giving a press conference at Moscow's Viking Club to announce the world launch of the video version of "Tomorrow Never Dies," the latest Bond flick starring Pierce Brosnan.


While James Bond has devoted his life to fighting criminal masterminds, Llewelyn's reason for coming to Russia was part of a battle against rampant video piracy. The video's distributors have rushed it into release in Russia only seven weeks after the big-screen world premiere.


Ordinarily the studio would wait six months, but the idea is to get a quality video version of the film on the streets before the pirates can cash in.


Llewelyn, 84, looks in the flesh very much as he does in his James Bond cameos: an absent-minded professor, dressed in a tweed jacket, collegiate tie and Hush Puppies, with the wavy white hair and unflappable calm that marked his performance in 15 Bond films.


In fact, while Llewelyn enjoys his role as Q, he does complain a little about being typecast. "I do amateur stuff hoping some damned fool will realize I'm an actor and not Q," he said


Even though he has spent the last 30 years acting the part of an inventor of high-tech gadgetry, Llewelyn says he really is fascinated by all the gizmos.


In "Tomorrow Never Dies" he goes beyond kid stuff such as exploding briefcases and pistol cigarettes. This time, he kits Bond up with a car controlled by mobile telephone. The film is a celebration of product placement -- the phone is courtesy of Llewelyn's good friends at Ericsson, and the car is from BMW.


Llewelyn, however, laps it all up.


"I asked the man from Ericsson who invented the phone if in 20 years' time you will be able to buy a phone like that in a shop. And he said, 'No, in two years' time.' I asked him, 'Even with a stun gun?' and he said 'Yes.'"


Llewelyn is delighted to have the opportunity to visit Moscow, but he admits that the end of the Cold War has created problems for spy movie script writers.


"I'm absolutely thrilled to be in Moscow," he said, but added, "I think [the collapse of the Soviet Union] made it very difficult for the authors because now that our countries have become friendly, we can no longer think of you as something else, Communists or something like that. We've now got to find another villain. We must go back to where we were in 1940: allies."


Despite his advanced years, Llewelyn said his alter ego Q is cooking up more ingenious devices for the next Bond film, due for release in November 1999.


Charity Ball for City Orphans


Organizers of the German Business Association in Russia must have been a little concerned last Wednesday when fire burned out the top floor of the State Historical Museum, the venue for their second annual ball.


But by Saturday night when the black ties starting arriving, the fire engines had driven away and the show went without a hitch. While a string quartet played Mozart, guests -- including economic planning minister Yevgeny Yasin -- mingled, dined and danced.


The woman behind the evening was Andrea von Knoop, managing director of the association and head of the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce. Von Knoop said the ball raised 50,000 Deutsche marks ($90,375) for an orphanage for abandoned children run by the Red Cross in southern Moscow.


This is the first charity project the German Business Association has undertaken in its two years in Moscow, but it probably wont be the last. "There have been lots of compliments," von Knoop said. "Everyone's already waiting for next year."


Belgian Royals in the Kremlin


A royal visit is scheduled to begin Thursday when King Albert II of Belgium arrives in Moscow at the invitation of President Boris Yeltsin.


Elisabeth Magean, cultural officer with the Belgian Embassy, said the king, along with Queen Paola and heir to the throne Prince Philippe, will stay in the Kremlin during their three-day visit.


Albert, 58, became Belgium's sixth king in 1993, following the death of his brother, King Baudouin. Albert is commander-in-chief of the Belgian armed forces and has worked with the Red Cross and the International Olympic Committee.


Nazareth to Rock the Provinces


Drummer Darrell Sweet said that while Nazareth may be a veteran band, it represents the vanguard in the invasion of Russia.


"The bigger acts who come and play Russia are the ones who come and play two shows in Moscow and two in St. Petersburg," he said, "but we're pushing the boundaries here in terms of actual touring."


Edinburgh-based Nazareth celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, and original members include Sweet, Peter Agnew and Dan McCafferty. Its three-week, 10-date Russian tour began Saturday night with a show at the Gorbunov Club and takes Nazareth to cities such as Tyumen, Chelyabinsk and Magnitogorsk.


Relaxing over dinner at the Chesterfield Cafe after the Saturday show, Sweet said the band has always looked East. Nazareth made an extensive tour of Poland in 1983 and frequently gave interviews on Radio Free Europe during the Soviet era. Permitted to play the Soviet Union in 1990, Sweet said it was clear the band's efforts had paid off.


"The biggest surprise we had was that the audience could sing along with all the lyrics -- they knew our music," he said.


Sweet said he wasn't concerned if this familiarity results from the existence of pirated recordings.


"The kids have only got so much money, and there's still a learning process taking place in this country," he said. "Wealth will come, experience will come, reality will come."


Singer McCafferty said he was happy to be back in Russia and was also looking forward to playing the provinces.


"I think it's knowing that they don't get so much [Western music]," he said. "It's very different from London, New York or Toronto -- everyone smiles at you the whole time you're here."


TMT Inspires Wicked Brew


Bartenders from the Hungry Duck, Rosie O'Grady's and the American Bar and Grill were juggling their cocktail shakers last week at a drink mixing competition organized by the Barman's Association of Russia for the Prodexpo '98 trade fair.


In the freestyle part of the event, bartenders drew names from a hat and then had to invent a tipple to match.


Vadim Barkhatov of the Friedrich II bar dipped into the hat and drew "The Moscow Times," which had been proposed by The Moscow Times' marketing department. He combined whiskey, tequila, gin and pineapple juice.


"Things are changing so quickly with the newspaper, a combination of ingredients was necessary," Barkhatov said. "And because it's a serious newspaper, the drink had to be a strong one."


Mademoiselle Chante Encore


Lovers of soulful French ballads are in for a treat when Patricia Kaas visits Russia as part of her world tour to promote her 1997 album "Ma Chair," or "In My Flesh."


Known as "the new Edith Piaf," the 29-year-old Parisian first found success with her 1988 album "Mademoiselle Chante...," which has been a huge hit in Russia. She headlined the big closing event for last year's 850th anniversary of Moscow.


Kaas, who sings in both French and English, will perform two concerts at the Kremlin Palace on April 11 and 12.