13 December 2013
Last updated at 16:01
Doctors say James Bond, played here by actor Daniel Craig, has a drink problem
Vodka martini, “shaken not stirred” – often said as part of a bad Sean Connery impersonation – is one of the most quotable lines from Bond.
Yet Her Majesty’s top secret agent’s love of the bottle would leave him impotent and at death’s door.
Doctors analysing the Ian Fleming novels show James Bond polishes off the equivalent of one and a half bottles of wine every day.
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He’s a very glamorous person, he gets all the girls and that’s totally incompatible with the lifestyle of an alcoholic.”
paediatric intensive care consultant
They say he is not the man to trust to deactivate a nuclear bomb.
Doctors in Derby and Nottingham sat down to read the 14 Bond novels in their spare time.
With a notebook at hand they charted every day and every drink.
Excluding the 36 days Bond was in prison, hospital or rehab, the spy downed 1,150 units of alcohol in 88 days.
It works out at 92 units a week – about five vodka martinis a day and four times the recommended maximum intake for men in the UK.
The doctors’ report in the festive edition of the British Medical Journal concluded: “Although we appreciate the societal pressures to consume alcohol when working with international terrorists and high stakes gamblers, we would advise Bond to be referred for further assessment of his alcohol intake.”
Patrick Davies, a consultant in paediatric intensive care at Nottingham University Hospitals, told the BBC: “You wouldn’t want this person defusing a nuclear bomb.
“He’s a very glamorous person, he gets all the girls and that’s totally incompatible with the lifestyle of an alcoholic, which he is.”
He said Bond would be classified in the “top whack” of problem drinkers and would be at high risk of liver damage, an early death and impotence.
“So he might be practising safe sex after all,” said Dr Davies.
From Russia with vodka
He also had a “Drink and Let Drive” habit after consuming 39 units in Casino Royale then crashing in a high-speed car chase and needing two weeks in hospital.
On his biggest bender, Bond had 50 units in a single day during From Russia With Love and only 13 days in all the novels were free of the sauce.
Charting James Bond’s drinking habits with age, he starts off drinking heavily in Casino Royale (1953) before seemingly starting to get his life in order as he heads towards Goldfinger (1959).
However, his intake starts to soar again and peaks at 132 units a week in You Only Live Twice (1964).
The researchers argue this may be a response to the death of his wife a year earlier in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
They say the study is light-hearted, and did not interfere with their day jobs, but raises an important message about alcohol.
Excessive alcohol consumption is thought to cause 2.5 million deaths every year around the world.
“The level of functioning as displayed in the books is inconsistent with the physical, mental, and indeed sexual functioning expected from someone drinking this much alcohol,” the doctors said.