Bond Connection Sees Bognor Bookings Soar

The Daily Telegraph, March 16, 2012

The unglamorous seaside resort of Bognor Regis has seen a sharp rise in visitor numbers following the decision to use it as a location for the new James Bond film.

The website reported a 40 per cent increase in hotel bookings in the West Sussex town since January, when news of the filming was leaked.

“Bognor Regis is a real British seaside gem, but not the first place you would expect to be a Hollywood filming location,” said a spokesperson for the website.

Location scouts are believed to have chosen the austere surrounding of Bognor Regis after the film’s budget was cut, with the remaining scenes shot at Pinewood Studios, in other parts of Britain, and in Turkey. The financial difficulties arose after the film studio MGM filed for bankruptcy.

Previous Bond films have utilised exotic destinations such as Jamaica, Brazil, Cuba and Thailand, but the 23rd instalment – scheduled for release in November – has made do with the traditional resort, which has been home to a Butlin’s holiday camp since the Sixties.

It first became a popular holiday resort in the 19th century, while King George V travelled to the town to convalesce in 1929. Following his stay, he was asked to add the suffix “Regis” to the town’s name. When a petition was presented to the King by Lord Stamfordham, his private secretary, he is said to have famously replied “Bugger Bognor”.

Nevertheless, Lord Stamfordham told petitioners “the King has been graciously pleased to grant your request”.