Royale night for Bond premiere

TUXES galore - that was the scene as Ipswich hosted the regional premiere of the new James Bond blockbuster.Hundreds of glamorous guests were at Cardinal Park last night for the first chance to see Daniel Craig take on the mantle of Bond in Casino Royale, just one day after the Queen attended the film's worldwide premiere in London.

TUXES galore - that was the scene as Ipswich hosted the regional premiere of the new James Bond blockbuster.

Hundreds of glamorous guests were at Cardinal Park last night for the first chance to see Daniel Craig take on the mantle of Bond in Casino Royale, just one day after the Queen attended the film's worldwide premiere in London.

Top of the guestlist at the charity event - organised by the Suffolk branch of the Institute of Directors in aid of the East Anglian Air Ambulance - was real-life Bond girl Mollie Peters.

Mollie starred on celluloid alongside Sean Connery in Thunderball, but last night was rubbing shoulders with other stars including EastEnders actors Bill Treacher and Ian Lavender, and Ipswich Town's Fabian Wilnis and Simon Milton.


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As with the famous films the cars were also the stars, with a four of 007's trademark Aston Martin on show outside the Cineworld cinema.

The evening opened with a cocktail reception at Liquid Envy nightclub, with guests sipping vodka martinis and mixing with look-a-likes of characters from past Bond films.

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An auction hosted by Andrew Cheney of event sponsors Hiscox Insurance raised nearly £9,000 for the air ambulance, on top of raffle and ticket sales.

Event organiser Clive Thomas said: “We have beaten the record of the last premiere which raised £16,000 and our target of £20,000.

We already have £21,000 and we are still counting.”

Guests then braved the red carpet - complete with a waiting crowd and guard from RAF Wattisham army air corps - to see the film.

Casino Royale literally marks a new beginning for Bond, with new boy Daniel Craig depicting the secret agent on his very first mission for MI6.

Gone are the gadgets and cheesy chat-up lines: there is no Miss Moneypenny and no Q.

Instead we see a Bond who bleeds, looking exhausted and beaten-up after chases, being double-crossed and not always coming out on top.

Craig is still a Bond who beds, but his womanising is more complicated than the easy romance of earlier flicks in the franchise.

For those not too shaken or stirred by the film - and despite its 12A rating there are some violent, shocking scenes - the night continued with a casino party back at Liquid Envy.

Casino Royale opens nationwide on Friday.

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