· Starting in 1952 with Casino Royale, Ian Fleming wrote one James Bond novel a year until his death in 1964. All were composed between January and March at his holiday home, Goldeneye, in Jamaica.
· James Bond 007 is the longest-running film franchise, with 22 films having been made since Dr No in 1962. It is also the second most successful, after Harry Potter; the series has grossed more than $4bn.
· Sean Connery, the first Bond, starred in six Bond films. George Lazenby replaced him for one film, after which the part was played by Roger Moore (seven films), Timothy Dalton (two), Pierce Brosnan (four) and Daniel Craig (two so far).
· It’s estimated that more than 2 billion people (nearly a third of the world’s population) have watched Bond movies.
· Sebastian Faulks’s Bond novel Devil May Care, to be published on 28 May, was written according to Fleming’s methods: 2,000 words a day for six weeks. ‘In his house in Jamaica, Ian Fleming used to write 1,000 words in the morning, then go snorkelling, have a cocktail, lunch on the terrace, more diving, another 1,000 words in late afternoon, then more martinis and glamorous women,’ said Faulks. ‘In my house in London, I followed this routine exactly, apart from the cocktails, the lunch and the snorkelling.’
· When President John F Kennedy included From Russia with Love (filmed with Connery and Daniela Bianchi) on a list of his favourite books in 1961, sales of the Bond novels, previously unsuccessful in America, boomed.
· Roger Moore became the oldest Bond at 58, when production closed on A View To a Kill in 1985.
· James Bond attended Fettes College in Edinburgh, the public school attended by Ian Fleming’s father and by Tony Blair. Sean Connery was once the school’s milkman.
· Kingsley Amis wrote two books about Bond in 1965 under the pseudonym Bill Tanner and then wrote the first Bond novel published after the death of Fleming, Colonel Sun, under the pen name Robert Markham. This was despite opposition from Fleming’s widow, Ann, who disliked Amis, calling him a ‘left-wing opportunist’.
· In 2003, the Fleming estate commissioned Charlie Higson, co-creator of The Fast Show, to write a sequence of five novels about the young James Bond at Eton in the Thirties. Sales of the first volume, SilverFin (2005), in which a 13-year-old Bond overcomes killer eels, surpassed the first Harry Potter novel.