You're only supposed to sign the bloody books!
On the evening of May 30, a very distinguished panel of personalities assembled at the Royal Automobile Club in Pall Mall to launch The Self Preservation Society - 50 Years of the Italian Job, the latest book from Porter Press.
Those attending included the Producer Michael Deeley, over specially from LA, well-known actor Robert Powell, Hazel Collinson (who appeared in the film and is the widow of the Director, Peter), and David Salamone (who sourced all the vehicles for the film and ended up a chinless wonder in the film as the driver of the red Mini with no less than Michael Caine in the passenger seat) together with author Matthew Field, the world's leading expert on the iconic film.
Royal Automobile Club Chairman Ben Cussons kicked off proceedings by introducing the panel to the 150 members gathered in the wonderful Mountbatten Room. There then followed a presentation by Matthew Field of clips from the film before he interviewed each of the panel members. The answers were illuminating, fascinating and at times hilarious. The evening seemed to be greatly enjoyed by all present. It was certainly very special.
Downstairs in the Rotunda, just inside the entrance, there was a display of three replica Italian Job Minis - red, white and blue, of course. Earlier Deeley, who is also remembered as the Producer of The Deer Hunter, for which he won an Oscar, and Blade Runner, had described The Italian Job as 'the first Brexit movie'!
Prior to proceedings, the panel had kindly signed the 300 special limited Collectors' Editions which will be become available during June, as soon as a couple more signatures have been added.
The highspot of the evening? There were many but Robert Powell's brilliant take-off of Sir Michael Caine sticks in the memory.
Photos copyright Mark Lewis Photography