Samantha Bond

Samantha Bond

Samantha Bond may be best known to many as Miss Moneypenny, but she has become one of the UK’s leading names on stage and TV over the last few years with a string of brilliant performances.

With her taking the lead in the latest round of BT adverts and becoming the new face of TV catch-up service YouView, we spoke to the actress about her love of the theatre, her feelings on the state of middle aged characters on TV and her stage superstitions.


To start off with, what can you tell us about your work with BT?

I’m going to be the new BT mother, playing Daniel Rigby’s mum, which is thrilling because I thought he was brilliant in a play called One Man, Two Guvnors and means I get to work again with Rebecca Front. I’m picking up the mantle that was Maureen Lipman’s, so that was bit daunting!

So what is it about the stage that you love?

Oh it's all sorts of things. The reality is that frankly, most theatre work is better written than most television. To get a play on to the West End stage means a lot of work has been done on it and I've been lucky enough to play some hugely meaty roles. It's that combination of the written word, the roles and there's this amazing live experience every night.

People who aren't in the business always seem to think that the theatre would get boring and very routine as you're doing the same thing day in, day out, but in fact every evening is a different experience. Each audience have their own emotional makeup that they bring with them so no two nights are the same.

You’ve spoken out in the past about the lack of great roles for middle aged women on TV, so what do you think needs to be done to change that?

Sadly I'm not a TV producer so I'm not too sure what the answer really is. I think television executives do know that a huge amount of their audience are middle aged people, especially women.

The other thing I find frustrating is that me and my female friends are at one of the most challenging times of our lives. You've got children leaving home, you've got parents with Alzheimer's, you've got contemporaries dealing with cancer. It's a hugely challenging time of life and I don't know why people don't tell more real stories. It is a question that applies much more to television than the theatre.

Why aren't people making television shows about real life? To think how many cop shows there are. I mean, very few of us are actually in the police. I just think that we need to go back to the real world and real world situations, which people can then watch and respond to as it's a part of their lives too.

We’ve most recently seen you on our TV screens in Downton Abbey, so what’s it like being a part of that show?

Oh it’s been great fun to do. I didn’t do very much this series because I was on stage when they were filming but for me it’s always like going to a party. There are very few people in it that I haven’t known for a very long time and it’s utterly lovely.

Most people will remember you most from being Moneypenny from the Bond films, what are you memories of that time?

Well it’s been so long since I made a Bond film; it’s really just a part of life now. It was a lovely time, I remember the whole thing with great affection. You are forever an extended part of the Bond family which is lovely but one moves on.

Is it true that you’re very superstitious?

It is when I’m in the theatre. If you say the name of The Scottish Play in my dressing room you are sent outside, you have to turn around three times, spit, curse and then knock before I will let you back in. And that will happen, so don’t test me on it. I do salute magpies and once I’m in a theatre, there will be routine that establishes itself and I get very twitchy if that gets broken.

Away from acting, what is it that grabs your attention?

I do a lot of crossword puzzles (laughs). I’m a great nest maker, my home is my castle. When you are working, you’re working very, very hard so when you’re not it makes me laugh when people ask “Are you resting?” It makes me want to say “The last thing I’m doing is resting, I haven’t stopped”. My family is my big focus.

So what’s next for you then?

Well, there are a couple of secret things that may or may not hit the telly or the theatre stage, so it could be a lovely busy year for me.

Samantha Bond has joined the cast of the BT “flatmates” adverts for the latest YouView advert. For more information visit

FemaleFirst Cameron Smith