Who wants to be 007… and win a million pounds? That’s the challenge for contestants on a blockbuster new TV contest featuring Brian Cox as a diabolical Bond villain

  • New Amzon Prime series 007: Road To A Million is inspired by the stunts of Bond 
  • READ MORE: Brian Cox can ‘finally say he’s been in a Bond production’

Ever wondered how you’d fare on His Majesty’s Secret Service? Have you yearned to dangle from a crane just like James Bond in Casino Royale, swing from a cable car like he did in Moonraker or tackle tarantulas as he did in Dr No?

Well, a new reality series on Amazon Prime Video lets its contestants do all that and more in stunning locations around the world, from Brazil to Switzerland, with a million-pound prize pot at the end of it.

007: Road To A Million is inspired by the incredible stunts and settings of the Bond films and features all the action, glamour and vodka martinis a fan could wish for – as well as a brooding villain in the shape of actor Brian Cox. But it’s not a competition for wannabe superspies, super-fit stuntmen or survivalists. 

On the contrary, the nine pairs of participants have been hand-picked on the strength of how ordinary they are, with often hilarious results.

One scene has brothers James and Joey Bone carrying out a task in a beautiful Venetian apartment. As opera music swells around them, they realise the challenge is to measure a snake. 

007: Road To A Million is inspired by the incredible stunts and settings of the Bond films and features all the action, glamour and vodka martinis a fan could wish for

Their reaction? ‘Mate, do me a favour. You’re having a laugh, ain’t ya?’

Not much like the smooth-tongued Bond, but the juxtaposition makes a warm, emotional show as the pairs overcome their fears, push themselves and broaden their horizons.

Copywriter James, who grew up in south London with his electrician brother Joey, says, ‘You have to pinch yourself. I’ve climbed Sugarloaf Mountain. I’ve dived down to a reef and zipped around on a RIB. 

‘The locations are like the ones in any Bond film, just insane. I don’t have enough superlatives to describe the experiences we’ve had.’

Other contestants include a couple who have barely spent any time alone together since having three children in quick succession, and a father and son who are separated for months at a time as the dad works on oil rigs. Each pair is sent to a different location, where they have to retrieve a silver briefcase through a physical challenge, such as diving into water, trekking up a mountain, or climbing something precarious.

READ MORE: Brian Cox can ‘finally say he’s been in a Bond production’ after swapping Succession for a 007 inspired reality show: ‘I always thought I’d be a very good villain!’ 

Inside each case is a quiz question; if they answer it correctly, they win some money and go up to the next level. Any pair who completes every challenge and answers every question correctly can win £1 million – meaning there is a jaw-dropping potential £9 million at stake overall.

The Bond references get more obvious as the stakes get higher. So while early challenges have subtle props for eagle-eyed fans to spot, the later ones involve Aston Martins, guns and tuxedos.

It’s the first time Bond bosses Barbara Broccoli and her half-brother Michael G Wilson have allowed their brand to be used in a TV show. ‘The ambition was to make a spectacle on a par with the Bond franchise,’ says Barbara. 

‘We’ve chosen iconic Bond locations and integrated elements from the most memorable scenes.’ However, she adds, it is ‘designed to appeal to everyone, whether or not they’re Bond aficionados. 

‘It’s an adventure in stunning locations with genuine emotion.’

Setting the questions and watching his punishing plans unfold is The Controller, played with relish by Succession star Brian Cox who, surprisingly, has never been in a Bond movie. ‘I always thought I’d be a very good Bond villain, but nobody’s ever come up with the offer,’ he says. 

‘So by doing this I’m doing it somehow.’

The Controller is the contestants’ ‘puppet master’, according to Michael G Wilson, who says Brian played the part to perfection. ‘As The Controller, he orchestrates the series’ challenges while enjoying watching the contestants squirm,’ Michael says.

Brian Cox attends the HBO Max premiere of Succession at Academia de Cine on March 29 in Madrid, Spain

Would Brian have liked to have a go at the stunts himself? ‘I might be OK on some of the general knowledge parts, but I definitely think I’d fall at the hurdle of the physical challenges,’ he says

Would Brian have liked to have a go at the stunts himself? ‘I might be OK on some of the general knowledge parts, but I definitely think I’d fall at the hurdle of the physical challenges,’ he says. 

‘Anything involving helicopter shots would be out.’

The contestants were kept in the dark as they travelled to Scotland, Switzerland, Chile, Brazil and Venice as well as Jamaica, where author Ian Fleming wrote the Bond books.

‘You never know where you’re going from one challenge to the next,’ says Joey Bone. 

‘It could be south London because James Bond’s been everywhere. There was one challenge where I thought I was Daniel Craig. 

‘We were doing exactly what he was doing. Another one came straight out of Moonraker and it’s one of my favourite scenes. 

Inside each case is a quiz question; if they answer it correctly, they win some money and go up to the next level (Pictured are contestants Tanaka and James)

Any pair who completes every challenge and answers every question correctly can win £1 million – meaning there is a jaw-dropping potential £9 million at stake overall (Pictured are contestants Kamara and Josh)

‘We did think, “Just don’t put us on top of a train!” like in Skyfall. We didn’t fancy doing that!’

It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for all the contestants, regardless of how much money they did or didn’t win.

‘We had the time of our lives,’ says Joey. ‘Everyone’s a fan of Bond. 

‘It’s a British institution. From the corny one-liners from Roger Moore and Sean Connery, it’s now moved with the times. 

‘Daniel Craig’s Bond had mental trauma, which he obviously would with the job he’s doing. The scenery’s stunning, the explosions are incredible, the stories are great. 

‘To have been a tiny part of that world has been mind-blowing.’

007: Road To A Million, from 10 November, Amazon Prime Video.

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