The world of entertainment is mourning the death of former James Bond star Sir Roger Moore who died yesterday, aged 89.
Sir Roger died in Switzerland following a short battle with cancer.
He visited Blackpool in October 2015 for An Evening With Roger Moore at the Grand Theatre, when the audience got chance to quiz him.
During an interview with The Gazette ahead of that visit Sir Roger praised the Tower Ballroom, saying his wife Kristina Tholstrup was a big fan of Strictly Come Dancing, with the Tower Ballroom show being one of their favourite episodes in the series each year.
It was not his first visit to the resort however,
In 1954, Sir Roger appeared in a play ‘I Capture the Castle’ and visited the town with his then wife, the singer Dorothy Squires.
The Gazette’s theatre critic Bill Burgess gave the briefest of mentions to the then 26-year-old actor for “a convincing study of rusticity”.
It would be another 19 years before he took on the role of 007.
Announcing Sir Roger’s death, his children said they were “devastated.”
The statement continued: “It is with a heavy heart that we must announce our loving father, Sir Roger Moore, has passed away today in Switzerland after a short but brave battle with cancer.
“The love with which he was surrounded in his final days was so great it cannot be quantified in words alone.”
They continued: “We know our own love and admiration will be magnified many times over, across the world, by people who knew him for his films, his television shows and his passionate work for Unicef, which he considered to be his greatest achievement.
“The affection our father felt whenever he walked on to a stage or in front of a camera buoyed him hugely and kept him busy working into his 90th year, through to his last appearance in November 2016 on stage at London’s Royal Festival Hall.
“The capacity crowd cheered him on and off stage, shaking the very foundations of the building just a short distance from where he was born.
“Thank you Pops for being you, and for being so very special to so many people.
“Our thoughts must now turn to supporting Kristina at this difficult time, and in accordance with our father’s wishes there will be a private funeral in Monaco.”
Sir Roger was the longest-serving actor to play the womanising MI6 agent, having portrayed 007 in seven films.