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article imageReview: Bob Hope and James Bond hit London in two new exhibitions

By Alexander Baron     Jul 9, 2012 in Entertainment
London - The James Bond films are now half a century old, and are being celebrated in an exhibition at London's Barbican. South of the River Thames is an exhibition of a different sort.
What do the legendary spy James Bond and the real comedian Bob Hope have in common? They were both Londoners.
The legendary wise-cracking comedian Bob Hope died in 2003 at the age of a hundred, not bad for a smoker; one wonders if fitness fanatic Michelle Obama will enjoy such longevity. Someone who certainly will is chain-smoking secret agent James Bond; neither his habit nor his heavy drinking or late nights at the roulette table appear to have affected his hand-to-hand combat skills.
007 was played most memorably by Scotsman Sean Connery and quintessential Englishman Roger Moore, although most film buffs appear to agree that Daniel Craig is a worthy if darker successor to the franchise.
Although he has some way to go to match Bob Hope, James Bond has already clocked up half a century on the big screen; now an exhibition has opened at the Barbican to celebrate this, and to display some of the exhibits from the films.
Bob Hope with wife Dolores
Bob Hope with wife Dolores
Fifty Years of Bond Style opened Friday and runs until September 5; adult tickets are £12, and full details can currently be found on the Barbican website. Don't forget too to check out the official James Bond site.
If you like your entertainment both light and free, south of the river from Friday until October 28, you can visit the Greenwich Heritage Centre for Bob Hope: A World of Laughter. Full details can be found on the Centre's website, but this is part of a world tour produced by the World Golf Hall of Fame and Museum and funded by the Bob and Dolores Hope Foundation.
Although as American as mom's apple pie, the comedian and actor known universally as Bob Hope was in fact born at Eltham, South London. Leslie Townes Hope entered the world on May 29, 1903, was taken to America as a young child and became an American citizen at the age of 17.
Bob Hope was a keen golfer; he was also married to the same woman, his second wife Dolores, for a staggering 69 years. His widow died only last year aged 102!
Bob Hope was renowned for his philanthropy and charitable work; the couple set up their foundation in 1962. Details of the world tour can be found on the official Bob Hope website.
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