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  • Writer's pictureChris Mads

Breaking news: James Bond drinks too much

Sometimes news breaks of a scientific study or a piece of research which is truly groundbreaking. It is the sort of work which creates headlines around the globe and alters your perception of the world.

And sometimes there are reports like this.

'Licence to swill' - James Bond declared 'severe' alcoholic by public health academics

Really? You don't say. In other groundbreaking research, these same visionary academics have discovered that rain is wet and the Pope might just have a Catholic leaning.

I'm not joking, this is an actual study - not the second two, obviously. Public health researchers at New Zealand's University of Otago "analysed 24 Bond films" to reach this earth-shattering conclusion.

For goodness' sake, the man's catchphrase is a cocktail order. In Casino Royale he created a cocktail during his mission, laid out the recipe and then - just to make sure it stuck - dedicated it to his current beau, who happens to define his story for the next few movies.

My second favourite part of this is that the report, which was published in the Medical Journal of Australia, counted how many times Bond sips a drink - 4.9 times per film apparently - and concluded that his drinking habits in Quantum of Solace could be potentially fatal. I'm pretty sure his habit of facing down a troop of armed goons with a single-mag Walter PPK or doing things like having a laser fight in space are pretty dangerous too.

Is there a report coming out on the ineptitude of Bond villains' plans for killing him next? Because these academics will go nuts when they find out Goldfinger tied Bond to a table with a slow-moving laser and didn't even want him to talk.

But the piece de resistance in this titanic marvel of academia is the fact it criticies MI6 for not offering Bond more support and says the spy organisation should offer him more field support so his work doesn't weigh so heavy. If I was Q or Quarrel I would be pretty mad at that.

And, while I hate to question the background research which has been done here, maybe a quick dip into the course material would have helped out. In Fleming's 1961 Thunderball novel Bond is told by M that his fitness test results are poor and that the result of his smoking - about 70 a day at one point - and drinking - about half a bottle a day - is that he must visit a health farm. So Ian Fleming knew in 1961 what this research has discovered.

So to conclude, and this is taken from the Medical Journal of Australia website, this report has discovered that Bond shows "a consistent pattern of heavy drinking" and after consuming alcohol often drives, fights and has sex with enemies while weapons are in bed. The conclusion? "Bond should seek professional help and find alternatives to drinking for managing on-the-job stress."

Useful advice if you are concerned your life mirrors that of a jet-setting, womanising, alcoholic, murderous secret agent who seems to have not aged since the 1960s. His face has changed a bit though.

Enough for now, I'm off to get funding for research into the jetpack from Thunderball.

Photos courtesy of the official James Bond website,

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