ROBBIE COLTRANE has made the bold claim that James Bond is 100 per cent Scottish.
Although Bond creator Ian Fleming imagined his famous spy character with some distinctly Scottish roots, the nationality of Bond himself is much contested.
But Scots acting legend Robbie Coltrane is in no doubt after investigating the issue for a BBC Radio Scotland programme to be aired today (Thu).
In the documentary – titled James Bond: Licence to Kilt – Coltrane says: “James Bond is a Scotsman.
“The universe he inhabits both in a literary and cinematic sense is littered with Scottish references.
“Whether your next encounter with 007 is in a book or on screen you can rest assured that the world’s number one spy has Scottish blood coursing through his veins.”
Fleming made the character Scottish in his books only after Sean Connery was cast in the 1962 film Dr No.
Then, in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, the first book published after Connery played Bond, 007 claims he is only half-Scottish saying: “My father was a Scot and my mother was Swiss.”
But in the most recent film adaptation of the franchise, it is revealed that Bond grew up on a family estate in the Scottish highlands.
But the claim is still being denied by other die-hard fans of Fleming’s franchise.
Sheena Wellington – a writer, performer and avid Bond fan – claims that the character of Bond is infused with the Caledonian roots of his creator, but not Scottish himself.
Fleming’s grandfather was an influential character around Dundee who owned a local Merchant bank.
Whilst Fleming himself was born in Mayfair, his mother often sent him to visit the family estate at Arnisdale House near Loch Hourn in Invernesshire to keep his links with the country.
Wellington says: “I think we are very proud that he has a Dundee connection, a Scottish connection because his author had that, so we can lay claim to him but I’m not sure he’s Scottish.”
But Coltrane’s claim is denied by other Bond fans – who believe Bond’s nationality is revealed by his distinctly Scottish behaviour.
Ajay Chowdury – of The James Bond International Fan Club – said: “Bond is a whisky drinking, hard working aesthetic man of the world, and I think that’s the bedrock of what people describe as the best qualities of a Scottish person.”
And historian Ashley Cowie has also backed Coltrane’s claim – albeit with less certainty.
He said that the Bond character is a reflection of the spies and soldiers Fleming met whilst working in naval intelligence.
He said: “I think because every one of the agents was trained with a Scottish pedigree, we have to say 65 per cent on that.”