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Dame Judi Dench creates stylish 007 souvenir by turning brass bullets from final Skyfall scene in to cufflinks

IT was the moment she finally got out from behind her London desk and in amongst the action – and it cost James Bond’s M, played by Dame Judi Dench, her life.

The matriarchal MI6 spy chief went out in a blaze of glory in her dramatic last ever scenes for the blockbuster franchise, fatally injured in a gunfight with Javier Bardem’s flamboyant villain and his henchmen in the latest Bond outing, Skyfall.


But while clearly emotional at bowing out of the series, the acting dame was clearly thrilled that she got to fire off a few shots at the baddies before she went down, the only time throughout her seven-film tenure as M she got to show her credentials in the field.


After shooting her final James Bond scenes as M in Skyfall, the Oscar-winning actress, famed for her Shakespearian roles, kept the four brass shells she discharged from her pistol and had them fashioned into gold cufflinks.


After shooting her final James Bond scenes as M in Skyfall Dame Judi Dench kept the casings of the four bullets she fired and had them turned into cufflinks as Christmas presents
She gave one pair to her 15-year-old grandson, Sammy, and another to her daughter Finty’s boyfriend for Christmas.


Designer jeweller Roger Elliott, 63, gold-plated the cartridges and studded their tips with rubies.
He created bullet-shaped end bars and engraved them with Skyfall, the name of Bond’s fictional childhood home in the Scottish Highlands where M dies in the arms of 007, played by Daniel Craig.


Mr Elliott, from Redhill, Surrey, who has made a necklace and earrings for Dame Judi in the past, said: ‘She told me the cartridge cases were especially meaningful to her because they marked the end of her career as M. ‘She also said they were the only gunshots she ever fired on screen.


“Dame Judi normally plays more deskbound characters, so the action sequence was very unusual for her.
‘I made more of them than Dame Judi expected. She was delighted with the result.


‘I hope they made a lovely present. They are quite unique.’


Jeweller Roget Elliott plated the bullet casings in 18-carat gold, studded them with rubies and engraved them with the film's title
Jeweller Roget Elliott plated the bullet casings in 18-carat gold


They were studded with rubies and engraved with the film’s title

Dame Judi thoroughly enjoyed getting out of M’s office: ‘It’s extremely nice to get a go in the field, as it were, and get a bit of the action. It made me feel very grown-up.’

Dame Judi inherited the role of M from Robert Brown and before him, Bernard Lee. Her character, introduced in 1995’s Golden Eye, was loosely based on real life former MI5 head Dame Stella Rimmington.

Her M was initially sceptical of Pierce Brosnan’s Bond and his womanising ways, branding him a dinosaur relic of the Cold War.The two eventually formed a close relationship, with M playing mentor and mother-figure, a bond that was cemented in their final outing together, in which her character is central to the plot.

The actress, whose meatier M role in Skyfall has seen her nominated for a Bafta, has revealed that, just like her character, she was reluctant to give up the part after 17 years.

Asked if the end had come as a relief, she said: ‘No, certainly not. I could go on for years. Maybe I’ll come back as a ghost. Now that would be Shakespearian.’

At least she enjoyed her action-packed final scenes, in which Bond uses her as bait to lure Bardem’s vengeful former secret agent, Raoul Silva, to his isolated ancestral home – for a fight to the death.

Dench has said her favourite memory of filming was ‘going to the ammunition shed’, adding: ‘It’s extremely nice to get a go in the field, as it were, and get a bit of the action. It made me feel very grown-up. It’s not just the fellas who are spinning about and shooting guns – I get a go.’

Mr Elliott now plans to sell replica versions of the Skyfall cufflinks to Bond fans. He said: ‘You can’t put a value on the originals, because they are so sentimental. ‘The materials themselves were not that precious as the shells were made of brass. But I will make solid gold copies which should sell for around £1,600 and silver versions for about £600.’



Benjamin Lind

Author: Benjamin Lind

Benjamin Lind became a James Bond fan at the age of 15 and has since closely followed the production of every film since 'Tomorrow Never Dies'. Apart from writing about Bond, he is a founding member of the James Bond Club Germany and holds a position as advisor in its executive committee. In 2016, Lind released a charity documentary film entitled 'A Bond For Life - How James Bond changed my Life' in support of UNICEF.

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