Review: 'Raising an Eyebrow: My Life with Sir Roger Moore' (2020) Aut. Gareth Owen
Personal Assistant Gareth Owen, co-founder of www.bondstars.com and author, reflects on his career working with Sir Roger Moore.
With a foreword by Britt Ekland, we are thrust not into a retrospective of Sir Roger and his movie career, but from when Gareth joined his team in 2002 and was there right up to Sir Roger's sad death in 2017.
This isn't a book that is as much a celebration of a life lived, but a wonderful eye-opening look at a chapter few knew about behind the camera. Personal views, comments, stories, hijinks and more await that do nothing but capture the joy and inimitability of one of our best loved actors.
If you think you know Sir Roger Moore, then let Gareth Owen show you a side you really DIDN'T know, but won't be dissapointed at all in finding out about!
With Gareth not only being a trusted PA to Sir Roger, he was also let into the small circle of trust with family and friends. It's nice to see Gareth never feels the need to try and abuse this position for the sake of selling a book; there are no stories or tales aired that disrespect or go beyond any lines. The respect and and love for Sir Roger and his family is evident, and Gareth truly delivers a warm and immersive exploration.
Taking on the role in 2002, we are treated to some of the early years of Gareth as he finds his way through his studies to Pinewood Studios and the desire to be involved in the industry. After a chapter or so of wonderful name-dropping (Walter Gotell used to be his landlord!), Gareth shows us just how he landed the dream job that would change his life forever.
You really feel like you're there shadowing Gareth and Sir Roger through this story. It's a joyful read and doesn't need to account for every single event and year they were together, but transcends their working relationship to keep you hooked and wanting to find out more with each turn of the page. It has lovely anecdotes that only Gareth would be able to share, and he adds a real new dimension to Sir Roger away from the camera and public eye. Safe to say, he's just as witty, warm and professional as you'd expect with a mouth like a trooper!
What is nice, is that this isn't Gareth divulging another new biography of Sir Roger and giving casual fans what they may want - stories of film and James Bond. While 007 is mentioned during the course of the book, it's in perfect context to their working relationship such as the books they write to celebrate the 50th anniversary. This isn't a book to go back to his time as Bond.
Sir Roger's widow, Lady Kristina Moore nee. Tholstrup is also given the praise and attention she deserves as a real rock in their relationship. Married for 15 years, it's wonderful to see a glimpse of man and wife together in some of their happy moments, but also the sad such as how their world changed with the death of Kristina's daughter Christina in 2016 and Sir Roger's battle with cancer.
It is a very easy read, a very enjoyable and warm read and a must for fans of Sir Roger Moore. There will be stories you never knew about, and personal touches from Gareth that only he would be able to add to shed more light on an already beloved man.
You won't get a book that gets as close to Sir Roger Moore as what Gareth Owen has written. Full of heart, humour and warmth for the great man and his family, this is a must read.
'Raising An Eyebrow: My Life With Sir Roger Moore' is published by The History Press