His bizarre collection of James Bond memorabilia has become world famous, and earned him a reputation as Britain’s biggest 007 fan.
But lifelong enthusiast Daryl Burchmore is selling off his colossal collection – which includes secret agent themed toys, sweets, ladies tights, and even cans of tuna – after being made redundant.
The tens of thousands of individual pieces, painstakingly gathered over four decades, have featured in museum exhibitions and on TV in the UK, United States and Japan, and have taken over his four-bedroomed house in Eastbourne, Sussex.
But now – much to the relief of his long suffering wife Jane – the unusual haul of goods will go under the hammer on Friday, and is expected to bring more than £100,000.
‘She’s never been a fan of it because it takes over the house,’ Mr Burchmore said. ‘She likes watching the films, but that’s as far as it goes.’
Many of the 600 lots, some containing several items, were originally children’s playthings, and Friday’s sale is being handled by specialist toy auction house Vectris, of Stockton on Tees.
And although individual items seem modestly priced – a rare edition of Goldfinger’s vintage Rolls Royce estimated at about £400 – it is the sheer scale which makes the collection unique.
Auctioneer Andy Reed said: ‘This reflects one man’s passion for collecting over about 40 years, and he has amassed everything he could related to James Bond.
‘It’s unbelievable what some people will collect.’
There are posters, autographs, costumes, toys, sweets, cinema tickets, movie premiere programmes, brochures, Easter eggs, bubble bath and even a pair of branded 007 shoes and ladies tights.
Mr Burchmore is even selling a couple of cans of John West tuna fish – bought because the label bears a competition promoting Die Another Day.
The father-of-two said he became ‘hooked’ on Bond at the age of eight.
He still recalls the day in 1973 when his father took him to the cinema for a double bill of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and Live and Let Die.
‘When I came out, I was hooked – the music, the action, it got my pulse racing,’ he said.
Later, when he left school, he said he blew his first meagre £25 pay packet on branded goods.
But two years ago, the 51-year-old was made redundant as a senior custodian with English Heritage, and he has been able to find only part time work since.
Mr Burchmore, who has met all six Bond stars several times and became a personal friend of ‘Q’ actor Desmond Llewelyn, said: ‘There are a few reasons why I’m selling – I’m 51, I can’t take it with me, and I’ve got two kids and a mortgage to support.
‘I also I lost my job two years ago and I’m only in part time work at the moment, that’s how bad its been.
‘Just before I was made redundant we bought a new house and I had an idea that I was gong to turn the fourth bedroom, which is like an annexe, into a private museum.
‘But that’ll never happen now and I want to knock a hole in the mortgage. I’ve got to enjoy my life rather than scrimping and saving and worrying.’