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Simon Dee, George Lazenby and the Assassination of JFK


John Simkin
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Simon Dee died yesterday. He was a famous BBC Talk Show host between 1967 and 1970. He was then offered a salary of £100,000 to move to ITV to host “The Simon Dee Show”. In one of his first shows he interviewed the cinema’s new James Bond, George Lazenby. During the interview Lazenby gave the names of American senators who he believed to have been involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy. This was a live interview and it created great controversy. However, Lazenby and Dee were not sued by the named men. What did happen was that both men’s high-profile careers came to an end. Dee’s contract was cancelled and Lazenby never appeared in another Bond movie.

Dee found it impossible to find work. In 1974 he blamed the CIA for his predicament. “It was perfectly obvious that the CIA, who controlled our media and still do, would be on my case.”

The details of Lazenby interview cannot be found on the web. Does anyone know who he named as those responsible for the assassination?

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Simon Dee died yesterday. He was a famous BBC Talk Show host between 1967 and 1970. He was then offered a salary of £100,000 to move to ITV to host “The Simon Dee Show”. In one of his first shows he interviewed the cinema’s new James Bond, George Lazenby. During the interview Lazenby gave the names of American senators who he believed to have been involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy. This was a live interview and it created great controversy. However, Lazenby and Dee were not sued by the named men. What did happen was that both men’s high-profile careers came to an end. Dee’s contract was cancelled and Lazenby never appeared in another Bond movie.

Dee found it impossible to find work. In 1974 he blamed the CIA for his predicament. “It was perfectly obvious that the CIA, who controlled our media and still do, would be on my case.”

The details of Lazenby interview cannot be found on the web. Does anyone know who he named as those responsible for the assassination?

Some sources say the interview with Lazenby was pre-recorded, which, if true, makes the episode even more curious. Either way, like John, I'd be interested to know the content of Lazenby's thoughts on the subject.

Incidentally, Dee also publicly opposed British membership of the EEC (or whatever title it had in those days) - not a wise career move at a time when British intelligence, in conformity to the wishes of its American masters, was engaged in wholesale manipulation of public opinion on the issue.

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The rumor among Bond aficionados is that when it came time to make another 007 film, Lazenby was arrogant and demanding to producer Cubby Broccoli, and so Connery was lured out of retirement. I'm not discounting the interview, though. People sidle up to stars and want to share insider secrets, and who more natural than the new Bond.

Edited by David Andrews
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I have had an email from someone who worked with Lazenby on a film called "The Newman Shame". Lazenby told him that he had information that LBJ was behind the assassination.

Do we have anything that would indicate when, how and from whom Lazenby obtained this information?

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I have had an email from someone who worked with Lazenby on a film called "The Newman Shame". Lazenby told him that he had information that LBJ was behind the assassination.

Do we have anything that would indicate when, how and from whom Lazenby obtained this information?

Did he get it from SPECTRE?

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Simon Dee died yesterday. He was a famous BBC Talk Show host between 1967 and 1970. He was then offered a salary of £100,000 to move to ITV to host “The Simon Dee Show”. In one of his first shows he interviewed the cinema’s new James Bond, George Lazenby. During the interview Lazenby gave the names of American senators who he believed to have been involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy. This was a live interview and it created great controversy. However, Lazenby and Dee were not sued by the named men. What did happen was that both men’s high-profile careers came to an end. Dee’s contract was cancelled and Lazenby never appeared in another Bond movie.

Dee found it impossible to find work. In 1974 he blamed the CIA for his predicament. “It was perfectly obvious that the CIA, who controlled our media and still do, would be on my case.”

The details of Lazenby interview cannot be found on the web. Does anyone know who he named as those responsible for the assassination?

John,

here's what I've found. I can cannot vouch for any of it, so take it on board or not...

1. The shows were live - and as a result, very little of Dee's work can be found today.

2. Lazenby was allegedly stoned and rambling.

3. Dee's problems stemmed from his over-sized ego and the fact that fellow host and part owner of ITV, David Frost, didn't like him.

4. Apparently Dee himself had auditioned for the Bond role. He was later, the inspiration for Austin Powers...

5. Lazenby was in fact offered a deal to stay on as Bond, but was convinced by his manager that in the wake of hippie films such as Easy Rider, the Bond franchise would crash and burn. Additionally, it was not Lazenby who had a list of demands for any new contract, it was the producer whose list of demands included the ability to dictate how Lazenby looked in public, what other movies he could make and on and on...

I wouldn't read too much into the lack of a lawsuit.

As for which senators he named... since I doubt he had any inside information I'd think the best way of finding out would be to check who the critics were pointing to that year...

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Simon Dee died yesterday. He was a famous BBC Talk Show host between 1967 and 1970. He was then offered a salary of £100,000 to move to ITV to host “The Simon Dee Show”. In one of his first shows he interviewed the cinema’s new James Bond, George Lazenby. During the interview Lazenby gave the names of American senators who he believed to have been involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy. This was a live interview and it created great controversy. However, Lazenby and Dee were not sued by the named men. What did happen was that both men’s high-profile careers came to an end. Dee’s contract was cancelled and Lazenby never appeared in another Bond movie.

Dee found it impossible to find work. In 1974 he blamed the CIA for his predicament. “It was perfectly obvious that the CIA, who controlled our media and still do, would be on my case.”

The details of Lazenby interview cannot be found on the web. Does anyone know who he named as those responsible for the assassination?

John,

here's what I've found. I can cannot vouch for any of it, so take it on board or not...

1. The shows were live - and as a result, very little of Dee's work can be found today.

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/carousel/pob18.html

The Simon Dee Show

Recorded: Saturday, 07/Feb/1970

Transmitted by: London Weekend Television, Colour, Sunday 08/Feb/1970 (11:25pm-12:15am)

A guest appearance on the 4th edition of Dee's new Sunday night talk-show series for London Weekend Television (Dee had previously worked for the BBC). John and Yoko also brought along Michael 'X' for the ride, but sadly this TV appearance almost certainly no longer exists in visual form (the image - left - is just a photograph snapped during the interview). The James Bond actor George Lazenby was Dee's opening guest and it was alleged that he had been high on LSD during his interview which he turned into a discussion about the questions surrounding the assassination of President Kennedy a little over 6 years earlier, Dee's employer's were said to have been furious at what had been broadcast (it was not live) and the incident is chiefly blamed for Dee's swift demise after the series ended in the summer. Having already burned his bridges with the BBC, Dee had nowhere else to go and one of Britain's most popular TV personalities of the late 1960's was never to be seen on TV again.

Can't be too many instances in that period, surely, of a British talkshow host permitting discussion, however stoned (or spiked) the initiator, of the Dallas coup; getting fired for it; and then commenting publicly on the power over British broadcasting exercised by the CIA? Three very good reasons for the end of a career, it would seem.

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It's worth noting that in those more 'innocent' times the very idea that the CIA had any control over British media, let alone British TV, would have sounded absolutely ludicrous. But it's just possible that Simon Dee, or to give him his real name Cyril Nicholas Henty-Dodd, had a slightly better understanding than most about 'how things worked'. Its not generally known but Dee was actually stationed in Baghdad with RAF intelligence.

Edited by Denis Pointing
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1. The shows were live - and as a result, very little of Dee's work can be found today.

There seems to be some disagreement whether the program was live or not. I suspect that even if there is a recording of the interview it would not be shown for legal reasons.

2. Lazenby was allegedly stoned and rambling.

That is clearly true but that of course does not mean what he said was untrue.

3. Dee's problems stemmed from his over-sized ego and the fact that fellow host and part owner of ITV, David Frost, didn't like him.

That is indeed true and it is possible that they were looking for a reason to sack him.

4. Apparently Dee himself had auditioned for the Bond role. He was later, the inspiration for Austin Powers...

This is not true. Someone suggested as a joke in 1969 that he should audition for the role but even he was not that daft and it never took place.

5. Lazenby was in fact offered a deal to stay on as Bond, but was convinced by his manager that in the wake of hippie films such as Easy Rider, the Bond franchise would crash and burn. Additionally, it was not Lazenby who had a list of demands for any new contract, it was the producer whose list of demands included the ability to dictate how Lazenby looked in public, what other movies he could make and on and on...

Everybody agrees that he was a terrible James Bond. The fact that he only appeared in one Bond movie probably has nothing to do with the Simon Dee interview.

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There seems to be some disagreement whether the program was live or not. I suspect that even if there is a recording of the interview it would not be shown for legal reasons.

Yes, that's right, John. There is disagreement. However, what I relied upon was a blog by a self-proclaimed retro tv fan:

"it remains a shame that much of his own work including the Dee Time series doesn’t exist, merely because it went out live at the time."

http://retrospace.co.uk/category/simon-dee/

That is clearly true [that Lazenby was stoned and rambling] but that of course does not mean what he said was untrue.

Agreed. It doesn't mean he was making it up. But the fact he was stoned is hardly irrelevant. It is something that has to be considered in weighing up this whole story.

And according to this, Lazenby never even mentioned the names of the alleged plotters. He handed over a list...

At LWT he was given the new Bond, George Lazenby as a guest. laezenby hijacked the programme by announcing "here is a list of the leading US politicians who orchestrated the assassination of President John F kennedy". Simon was gob-smacked and was NOT in on the stunt - Lazenby said it was Ronan who put him up to it and the Daily Sketch ran a big story just afterwards called 'the men who suckered Simon Dee'. His other guests on that show were John and Yoko, who were also astonished at the outburst. Simon was blamed by LWT management and dropped.

http://members7.boardhost.com/PirateRadio/...1251807794.html

This is not true [that Dee auditioned for the part of Bond]. Someone suggested as a joke in 1969 that he should audition for the role but even he was not that daft and it never took place.

I stand corrected. I misread - though what I read did not include anything suggesting it was a joke. He did have a cameo in the Italian Job.

Everybody agrees that he was a terrible James Bond. The fact that he only appeared in one Bond movie probably has nothing to do with the Simon Dee interview.

I've never watched a Bond film, so I have no personal opinion on it, but you are wrong in suggesting "everybody agrees" he was a terrible Bond. Even just a cursory search of the web puts that notion to the sword. On the basis of what I've seen so far, I agree 100% that his lack of Bond work had nothing to do with any appearance on the Dee show. I've found nothing disputing what I said previously on this.

-------------------

Can't be too many instances in that period, surely, of a British talkshow host permitting discussion, however stoned (or spiked) the initiator, of the Dallas coup; getting fired for it; and then commenting publicly on the power over British broadcasting exercised by the CIA? Three very good reasons for the end of a career, it would seem.

I'd agree -- if this is in fact, what went down. But is it? I've seen many references to the substances being pot... it may be telling that the sole reference to it being LSD also gives credence to the CIA angle...

The only way to really get to the bottom of this is for someone to actually ask Mr Lazenby about this little episode in his life.

Edited by Greg Parker
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I have had this email from a friend of Simon Dee:

I'm sure if 'Simon' was around to read some of the 'obits' he'd afford himself a wry smile and have a chuckle at the fact that large swathes of the 'Fourth Estate' have continued to repeat some of the hoary old myths and inaccuracies that have been spread about him since he was drummed out of the BBC for such things as daring to permit the left wing historian AJP Taylor to attack the EU on his show and giving a platform for then Liberal leader Jeremy Thorpe to make the case for PR in British elections - issues that were both an anathema to the British establishment and the then British govt of Harold Wilson. Simon even tried to get the world premier of the Zapruder film broadcast on his show as a result of his own growing belief that Kennedy was killed by a conspiracy. While in 1968 Simon spoke at a public rally against world poverty. Facts which would seem to fly in the face of his usual presentation in sections of the media as some bumbling superficial lightweight. And while it would generally be agreed that Simon didn't always help himself when it came to the work opportunities offered him in the media after he was sacked by LWT following the 'Lazenby affair', often repeated claims of his 'paranoia' seem to ignore the fact that a 2004 application to the Freedom of Information act revealed that Special Branch held a big thick file on Simon and had sent two officers to visit him at one point. The visit apparently being triggered by Simon's public attacks on the Wilson govts strong arm tactics towards independent radio stations."

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  • 3 months later...
  • 8 years later...

I came over here to see what is here. The answer is rubbish. As for Lobster, well it both cited my work, stole stuff from me and garbled my work. Forget Lobster. As for Simon Dee, well that poor fellow ran into one Ronan O'Rahilly who was a con man, a fraud, a xxxx and a man who could and did get those he came into contact with, into a lot of trouble. He got Simon to steal from his employer which almost sent Simon to prison. That was to finance advertising for O'Rahilly's two-weekend stint above a pub off Regent Street to run an acting class. That was before the Georgie Fame lie and the Caroline Kennedy lie and all of the other lies. He was the one who got George Drummond prison time when he participated in a robbery in aid of a non-starting silly idea for Caroline Television beamed from above by a circling aircraft. The idea works, but O'Rahilly does not believe in work, only con jobs and getting others to take the fall. So he told Lazenby not to do 007 and got him involved with an unscripted bit of rubbish called 'Universal Soldier' in which O'Rahilly gave himself a cameo part. Or maybe it was that other film about a 'Girl on a Motorcycle'. Anyway, bottom line is that McLendon's man Bill Weaver did write a book accusing LBJ of killing JFK and involving McLendon's offshore radio station in CIA activities. However, since 2009, until now, this thread has produced zero advanced knowledge about the thread topic.

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