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Research Christmas 2013: Research

Were James Bond’s drinks shaken because of alcohol induced tremor?

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 12 December 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f7255
  1. Graham Johnson, ST5 emergency medicine1,
  2. Indra Neil Guha, clinical associate professor of hepatology2,
  3. Patrick Davies, consultant paediatric intensive care3
  1. 1Emergency Department, Royal Derby Hospital, Derby
  2. 2NIHR Nottingham Digestive Diseases Biomedical Research Unit, University of Nottingham
  3. 3Paediatric Intensive Care Department, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, Nottingham
  1. Correspondence to: P Davies patrick.davies{at}
  • Accepted 27 November 2013


Objective To quantify James Bond’s consumption of alcohol as detailed in the series of novels by Ian Fleming.

Design Retrospective literature review.

Setting The study authors’ homes, in a comfy chair.

Participants Commander James Bond, 007; Mr Ian Lancaster Fleming.

Main outcome measures Weekly alcohol consumption by Commander Bond.

Methods All 14 James Bond books were read by two of the authors. Contemporaneous notes were taken detailing every alcoholic drink taken. Predefined alcohol unit levels were used to calculate consumption. Days when Bond was unable to consume alcohol (such as through incarceration) were noted.

Results After exclusion of days when Bond was unable to drink, his weekly alcohol consumption was 92 units a week, over four times the recommended amount. His maximum daily consumption was 49.8 units. He had only 12.5 alcohol free days out of 87.5 days on which he was able to drink.

Conclusions James Bond’s level of alcohol intake puts him at high risk of multiple alcohol related diseases and an early death. 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. We advise an immediate referral for further assessment and treatment, a reduction in alcohol consumption to safe levels, and suspect that the famous catchphrase “shaken, not stirred” could be because of alcohol induced tremor affecting his hands.


  • Contributors: GJ read half of the books, and drafted and edited the paper. ING edited the paper and added much hepatology advice. PD developed the hypothesis, read half the books, and edited the manuscript.

  • Funding: No funding was sought for this study. The original books were already owned by two of the study authors.

  • Competing Interests: All authors have completed the ICMJE uniform disclosure form at and declare: no support from any organisation for the submitted work; no financial relationships with any organisations that might have an interest in the submitted work in the previous three years; no other relationships or activities that could appear to have influenced the submitted work.

  • Ethical approval: The impact of this study on fictional British spies was thought to be minimal and therefore ethical approval was not sought for this study.No consent has been sought from the Commander Bond chronicled in the original Ian Fleming novels. The barrier to this chiefly being his fictional nature meaning he is unable to give valid consent.

  • Data sharing: Technical appendix and dataset are available from the corresponding author.

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