This story about Roger Moore meeting a fan is what you need right now to lift your spirits

TV and radio writer Marc Haynes captured the nation’s mood today, when following the terrible news in Manchester we also learned that Roger Moore had sadly passed on.

Marc wrote a story on Facebook about meeting Moore a couple of times: once as a child, and once as an adult.

And in the words of kids today, “it’s all of the feels”

This story vent viral via  Twitter with the fabulous title “This truly wonderful Roger story is soothing my aching soul” but here’s the actual text rather than a screen-grab, and with permission from Marc:

As an seven year old in about 1983, in the days before First Class Lounges at airports, I was with my grandad in Nice Airport and saw Roger Moore sitting at the departure gate, reading a paper. I told my granddad I’d just seen James Bond and asked if we could go over so I could get his autograph. My grandad had no idea who James Bond or Roger Moore were, so we walked over and he popped me in front of Roger Moore, with the words “my grandson says you’re famous. Can you sign this?”As charming as you’d expect, Roger asks my name and duly signs the back of my plane ticket, a fulsome note full of best wishes. I’m ecstatic, but as we head back to our seats, I glance down at the signature. It’s hard to decipher it but it definitely doesn’t say ‘James Bond’. My grandad looks at it, half figures out it says ‘Roger Moore’ – I have absolutely no idea who that is, and my hearts sinks. I tell my grandad he’s signed it wrong, that he’s put someone else’s name – so my grandad heads back to Roger Moore, holding the ticket which he’s only just signed.

I remember staying by our seats and my grandad saying “he says you’ve signed the wrong name. He says your name is James Bond.” Roger Moore’s face crinkled up with realisation and he beckoned me over. When I was by his knee, he leant over, looked from side to side, raised an eyebrow and in a hushed voice said to me, “I have to sign my name as ‘Roger Moore’ because otherwise…Blofeld might find out I was here.” He asked me not to tell anyone that I’d just seen James Bond, and he thanked me for keeping his secret. I went back to our seats, my nerves absolutely jangling with delight. My grandad asked me if he’d signed ‘James Bond.’ No, I said. I’d got it wrong. I was working with James Bond now.

Many, many years later, I was working as a scriptwriter on a recording that involved UNICEF, and Roger Moore was doing a piece to camera as an ambassador. He was completely lovely and while the cameramen were setting up, I told him in passing the story of when I met him in Nice Airport. He was happy to hear it, and he had a chuckle and said “Well, I don’t remember but I’m glad you got to meet James Bond.” So that was lovely.

And then he did something so brilliant. After the filming, he walked past me in the corridor, heading out to his car – but as he got level, he paused, looked both ways, raised an eyebrow and in a hushed voice said, “Of course I remember our meeting in Nice. But I didn’t say anything in there, because those cameramen – any one of them could be working for Blofeld.”

I was as delighted at 30 as I had been at 7. What a man. What a tremendous man.

Amazing isn’t it? We welled up a little reading it and we also got in touch with Marc for a quick chat:

B3ta: How’s it going? Great Roger Moore story!

Marc: I met him twice and now I’ve seen a description of me as “Roger Moore superfan.” Ye gods

B3ta: Nice moment – you broke the mood from stunned horror at Manchester to bittersweet love / melancholy for Moore. You are today, the nation’s DJ – switching us up.

Marc: All I ever wanted to be is Neil Fox.

B3ta: Any comment about your story being so widely shared?

Marc: I think it’s a reflection of how much people have genuine affection for Roger Moore. He was lovely to me both times I met him, and I think that’s what people instinctively felt he was like from seeing him on the screen – that he was a really nice guy. And when I met him, that’s exactly what he was

B3ta: You’re also part of the Bond podcast SmershPod – can you recommend an episode?

Marc: The last one covered Moonraker with Al Murray and it’s great. They LOVE that film which is weird because I can’t stand it. Give me Octopussy any day

B3ta: Is Octopussy your Roger Moore recommendation?

Marc: Man With The Golden Gun is the best. And View to A Kill bad, but great. But Octopussy – first love never dies.

B3ta: We’ve been looking for photos…

Marc: That’s amazing. I hope the papers lead with that shot on the front cover tomorrow.

Anyway thanks to Marc Haynes for sharing his story and cheering us all up.