Roger Moore narrates a fun and fascinating BBC radio documentary on Leslie Charteris, author of the Saint. Among those interviewed is my Uncle Burl Barer, the Edgar-award winning author of a book on Charteris and the Saint (who must have crapped himself when he heard Moore, his childhood idol, introducing him).
(Thanks to William Simon for the heads-up!)
2 thoughts on “A Saintly Radio Program”
Here are the official BBC Publicity notes for Leslie Charteris – A Saintly Centennial
This year marks the centenary of the birth of popular fiction writer Leslie Charteris, best known for his many books chronicling the adventures of Simon Templar, alias The Saint.
In this special programme, actor and Saint portrayer Roger Moore explores the life and legacy of Charteris and reveals a world of adventure, torment, insecurity, failed marriages and enormous success as a thriller writer.
The adventures of The Saint have appeared continuously since 1928, making Simon Templar the longest-running character in contemporary detective fiction. But there was more to Charteris’s literary acuity than The Saint alone. He was fluent in several languages; he had a monthly column in the epicurial delight, Gourmet magazine; and he devised a pictorial sign language which he called “Paleneo” and wrote a book about it. He was also one of the earliest members of Mensa.
Despite his film-star looks, with a hint of exoticism, Charteris suffered from a long-standing insecurity about his appearance, arising from his mixed racial origin. In later years he dated some of Hollywood’s most beautiful women, among them Marlene Dietrich and Jean Harlow.
It wasn’t until 1963, when Lew Grade cast Roger Moore and filmed the first television series of The Saint, that Charteris at last felt he’d received the final seal of approbation that had eluded him for 30 years.
Among those exploring the world and psyche of Charteris are Dan Bodenheimer, who runs the official Saint website; Burl Barer, author of The History Of The Saint; and Charteris’s biographer Ian Dickerson.
Presenter/Roger Moore, Producer/Stephen Garner
BBC Radio 4 Publicity
I didn’t exactly crap myself when Roger Moore introduced me, but I did experience a semi-erotic tickling sensation in my lower intestines. My favorite Roger Moore story:
My young son Jordan (about 10 years old) returned from the video store with three Roger Moore James Bond movies. As he walked in the house, he noticed the light blinking on the answering machine. He pushed the button, and an immediately recognizable voice said, “Hello, this is Roger Moore calling…” Jordan didn’t crap himself, but only because he was too shocked to move a muscle,let alone a bowel.