Elizabeth Hurley's James Bond podcast could 'win' you $100k

The greatest Bond woman never to appear with the spy presents a '00-heavenly' car investigation show set in the Middle East


David Light

Published: Tue 28 Sep 2021, 5:22 PM

After the screams of excitement subsided – pent up over two decades since first seeing the actor in Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery - it was time to go to work and put questions to the one and only Elizabeth Hurley. Admittedly we’ve had worse days at the office. But what were we to speak about? Perfect for this Bond weekend, despite never having appeared in a bona fide 007 film herself (how?), Hurley is fronting SPYSCAPE Podcast Network’s ‘show with a mission and a $100,000 reward’ and it involves the UAE!

Worthy of a Fleming thriller in its own right, The Great James Bond Car Robbery pod is an extraordinary true heist story featuring rock stars, designers, art detectives and thieves. It’s available on Apple Podcasts and all major channels right now. In it host Hurley will lead you on an eight-part mission to recover ‘The Most Famous Car in the World’, which is rumoured to be in Middle East and could lead you to claiming a mammoth cash finder’s fee.

So what’s it all about?

The Aston Martin DB5 driven by Sean Connery in the third Bond film Goldfinger is almost as famous as the spy who owned it. Worth today in excess of $25 million, the iconic vehicle with the chassis tag DP/216/1 was fitted with ejector seats, machine guns and tyre-shredders. After the movie’s release the DB5 was passed from collector to collector. Florida real estate developer Anthony Pugliese III bought the car at a Sotheby’s auction in 1986, had it insured for 16 times what he paid for it, and stashed it away inside a private jet hangar at Boca Raton Airport. Then, on June 19, 1997, it vanished, and hasn’t been seen since. The series delves into the world of international automobile dealers and collectors to uncover what really happened to the ultimate cultural icon - exploring its remarkable history, its creators, and the obsession it inspires.

Leading the investigation is Christopher A. Marinello of Art Recovery International who specialises in recovering lost treasures. Marinello is of the impression the current possessor would like to show it off and has heard reports it may have been lent to someone in Bahrain or Kuwait. “We’re focusing on the Middle East – possibly Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain – that general area,” he says. We spoke to Hurley to find out more.

What do the Bond movies and his most famous car - the DB5 - mean to you?

The Bond movies are an iconic part of British film culture and Barbara Broccoli has been a pioneering female powerhouse continuing in her father’s footsteps. It’s no surprise that the DB5 is the most iconic, well-known, car in the world. It’s a chic, powerful, beautiful and curvaceous British icon - what’s not to like about that?

Were you ever tempted to go for a role in a Bond movie (or are you still tempted)? How far did your turn in Austin Powers satisfy any Bond hankerings? Could you return to a Powers sequel?

Doesn’t everyone want to be in a Bond film? I will be sad to see Daniel Craig retire but I know we’ll see a lot more of 007 in the future. As for Austin Powers... It’s a challenge to recreate something 20 years later, but it’s hard to resist Austin Power’s charms!

Do you think this podcast may be the beginning of a new career in hosting audio shows?

I’d love to do more voice work, and The Great James Bond Car Robbery was such a fun podcast, although my movie and TV commitments are keeping me busy for now. My new movie, Netflix’s Father Christmas is Back, comes out in November – I had amazing co-stars in John Cleese and Kelsy Grammar. Also coming out soon is The Piper, a fantasy/horror, which I shot in Latvia, where a local legend leads to dreams and hallucinations. I’m about to shoot Christmas in the Caribbean in...the Caribbean. I can’t wait to finally get some sun.

Given the show has a Middle East focus, what are your memories about visiting here?

My first job ever was a theatre tour of the Middle East and I still have amazing memories of that time. I visited Dubai for the 15th Dubai World Cup horse race in 2010 and I was amazed at the architecture: skyscrapers in the desert!

Will you be watching Daniel Craig’s final Bond film?

I always said I preferred the early ones and now that I’m involved with the Goldfinger car I feel a bit guilty confessing that, having watched the latest ones over lockdown, I think my favourite Bond is Daniel Craig. But my favourite Bond girl is still Ursula Andress.

How can people be in the running to win the $100,000 prize?

The insurance company is offering a $100,000 finder’s fee. Anyone with information that leads to the safe return of the DB5 may be eligible to claim that reward. It can’t be just any DB5 though. The Goldfinger gadget-car driven by Sean Connery has a specific chassis number which identifies it as 007’s Silver Birch Aston Martin. You can find out more at artrecovery.com/aston-martin

What was it like working with Christopher A. Marinello of Art Recovery International for the podcast?

Christopher is a determined detective who never gives up. I’m amazed at his tenacity and his commitment to recover the DB5. He’s been chasing down tips for more than a decade!

As we emerge from the pandemic, how have the last 18 months been for you?

It’s been a difficult time for all of us. Fortunately, I have my son Damian, and I’m very grateful for my wonderful family. I’m busy with film and television roles, and, of course, my swimwear line - Elizabeth Hurley Beach. The Great James Bond Car Robbery has also kept me focused. I always find it helpful to have a positive outlook.

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