TEN LESSER KNOWN FACTS ABOUT IAN FLEMING

Because the late, great, action novelist Ian Fleming was born yesterday, on May 28, over a hundred years ago in 1908, and because I've always longed to emulate his writing, here's ten things you probably don't know about Fleming.

1. Before the war, Ian Fleming attempted a career as a stock broker and failed miserably. He enjoyed the long lunches though.

2. Fleming's nose was broken in his younger days and was repaired with a piece of copper.

3. During the war Ian Fleming had a girlfriend who he called Cotton Top. She was a dispatch rider and was killed during a German bombing raid on London.

4. Constantly in trouble and beaten by his school masters at Eton, in an act of defiance, Ian Fleming once walked straight from a beating to the running track, ran and won the big race with the blood from the beating soaking through his shorts.

5. Winston Churchill wrote the obituary for Fleming's father.

6. Ian Fleming and his wife Anne were great friends with Noel Coward.

7. Fleming's son's name was Casper.

8. Ian Fleming also wrote Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

9. Fleming and writer Roald Dahl were engaged in British intelligence during the war. Years later, after Fleming's death, Roald Dahl wrote the screenplays for two of Fleming's books which became movies: You Only Live Twice and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

10. Ian Fleming's brother Peter was a successful, published author long before he was and, based on Peter's war service as a Commando, many have speculated that he was an early prototype for James Bond.

Happy birthday, Mr Fleming.

Chris

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