The Beatles and James Bond turn 50

5 October 1962 was a momentous day in British pop culture - take yourself back half a century to when film and music changed for ever...


What is it about entertainment half-centenary celebrations? You wait 50 years for one, then two come along at once.


5 October 1962 was a very special day for the British entertainment industry, as two of its most celebrated brands were born. 

Not only were cinema-goers treated to the UK premiere of the very first James Bond film – Dr No starring Sean Connery – but music fans got their first taste of Beatlemania as the Fab Four released their inaugural British single, Love Me Do. 

In total there have been 23 James Bond films released, with the latest instalment, Skyfall, due to hit cinemas on 26 October 2012. It is estimated that the Bond films have grossed more than $5bn worldwide in the past fifty years.    

To date, The Beatles have sold more than a billion records across the world and hold the record for the most number one albums in the UK charts (15) and the most number one singles on the US Billboard Hot 100 charts, with 20 songs hitting the top spot.

So here’s what people were watching and listening to on that fateful day. The (epic) trailer for Sean Connery’s new film was “announcing an exciting motion picture… the exotic and tantalising Dr No”:

Meanwhile, on the very same day, the start of pop music as we now know it was hitting the shops: what Beatles biographer Ian MacDonald called “the first faint chime of a revolutionary bell”, Love Me Do.