Entertainment behind the scenes
Visiting the Ian Fleming exhibition at the Imperial War Museum London this week, it was interesting to see how important he and his relatives thought his time as a reporter with Reuters was. His niece, Kate Grimond, suggested his stint with the news agency helped him settle down after leaving school and taught the writing skills that would serve him well when he came to write the hugely successful James Bond series. Fleming himself once said: “Reuters was great fun in those days … above all, I have to thank Reuters for getting my facts right.”
It was a slight shame that the company name in the quote, printed in large letters on one of the exhibition walls, was misspelled as “Reuter’s”. One of the press officers promised to have that put right, so I shall go back and check some time.
Reuters correspondents today would struggle to recognise some aspects of the world of reporting in the 1930s, but a few things appear to have changed little over the 70-odd years between then and now. While many would continue to maintain that life with the company was “great fun”, they may also understand why Fleming switched to the world of finance before taking up writing novels. In the words of Grimond, he “changed career because he wanted to earn more money”.