Sir Roger Moore: The day James Bond came to Derry

Bronagh Sharkey was a big fan of Roger Moore Image copyright Bronagh Sharkey
Image caption Bronagh Sharkey and her friend Gloria Hegarty were fans of Roger Moore

"The girls were squealing, they were hysterical, just like the young ones today," remembers Bronagh Sharkey.

Picture the scene. It's Londonderry, it's the summer of 1963, and to great fanfare the late Sir Roger Moore is cutting the ribbon at the opening of a furniture shop.

While crowds of young girls screamed their adoration from the streets below, two Derry women were lucky enough to get up close and personal with the movie star.

One of them, Bronagh Sharkey, spoke to BBC Radio Foyle in 2013 about the time she met 'The Saint' and the man who subsequently starred in seven James Bond films.

"Roger had come over to open an exhibition in Cavendish furniture company in Bishop Street in Derry," said Mrs Sharkey.

"I was the cashier clerk in the same store and Gloria worked along with me."

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The actor starred in seven Bond films

At the time, the actor had recently been cast as Simon Templar in the TV series 'The Saint', based on the novels by Leslie Charteris.

The show went on to become a huge success and made the British actor a household name in the United States.

"Roger came into my office to sign autographs," said Mrs Sharkey, "he put his arm round Gloria and me and moved us to the open window which was looking down on to Bishop Street.

"I really felt fantastic - and, I suppose, very special and flattered because I could have been one of the girls down below screaming up at Roger."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Saint made Sir Roger a household name across the Atlantic

A dashing figure, known for his smooth talking, Sir Roger did not disappoint in the flesh, said Mrs Sharkey.

"Roger was very tall, tanned and, oh my God, good looking. The thing is, he sort of had the hots for me as they say nowadays," she revealed.

"He asked me to come over to London and meet up with him sometime later. I refused because I knew I wouldn't have had a minute's peace with so many women idolising him and in love with him."

Love was not lost, however, because Bronagh ended up meeting her future husband, Gerry, a short time after.

They were married in 1966 and Mrs Sharkey said she has no regrets.

"Sure Roger and me wouldn't have lasted that long, but I'll always have the memories and the photo," she added.

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